Cubism, a distinct and tradition-defying approach to viewing art, is described with its conflicting, jarring, brutally reductive warping of lines. First invented in the early 20th century, the movement captured artists into representing reality in a fresh and unique style. There is no one agreed-upon definition of Cubism that includes what characteristics the form should have. Most artists agree that the leading idea behind it — though not always being understood or followed by many — is to deconstruct lines by breaking them up and reforming them in a new way.
The art form was seen for the first time in paintings by renowned artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque that featured interweaving planes and lines in muted tones, as well as collage-like cutouts, shapes, and bright colors. Its retrospective nature and shifting perspectives drew praise and criticism alike. French art critic Louis Vauxcelles described some of the pioneers’ paintings as “reducing everything to geometric outlines, to cubes,” giving the movement its terminology used widely today.
This in turn gave birth to a vibrant visual culture that emphasised a new art to reflect the new modern era, and bring acknowledgment of change and a desire for the same. The previous static view of the universe and the assumption of a continuance of tradition and social stability were perhaps suitable for the period of the Renaissance, but not for those who wanted to break away from a monocular perspective for the arts. Cubism devised a modern form of vision with its astonishing nature.
Cubists would use a single scene, but break it up into geometric planes, allowing for cross-sections and different angles of the same point of interest. Whilst there are many styles of Cubism in art, cubic literature has an extensive yet often forgotten history; its characteristics make it incredibly original and effective. Hence, Cubism – also referred to as 'cubiform' or 'analytic cubism' – is characterised by a subjective treatment of language and space. Artists generally include techniques of fragmentation and strange combinations of subjects without omitting differences.
The Arabian Gallery features a remarkable collection of cubist and modern art by artists Ghassan Mahfouz, Khulood Al Jabri and Ihab Ahmad. Their stellar works of art reflect their unique artistic experiences and journeys.
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