Cubism was the most important revolution in early twentieth-century art. As such, it asked every artistic question all over again, insisting that art can never deal with the world as it really is, but only with our ways of seeing it and knowing it. This radical new movement was the creation of two artists, the Frenchman Georges Braque and the Spaniard Pablo Picasso, working side by side between the years 1907 and 1914 minly in Paris, then the artistic capital of the world. It grew out of the ruptures in art during the preceding decades and owed a special debt to the work of Paul Cézanne, but was also the result of seeing ‘non-Western’ art in new ways.
The power of Cubism’s new way of seeing was such that it spread across Europe and Amer5ica with astonishing speed. The widening circle of Cubists included Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier, Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger. The movement penetrated artistic activity far beyond painting and sculpture: it reinvigorated architecture, graphic design, music and poetry, and transformed the possibilities of photography and film. In this vivid and comprehensive account, Neil Cox situates Cubism in the context of its time. Drawing on the latest research, he skilfully guides the reader through this sometimes complex field, never losing sight of the exuberance of the art itself.
Neil Cox is a senior lecturer in Art History and Theory at the University of Essex. His publications include A Bicasso Bestiary (with Deborah Povey) and Marcel Duchamp (with Dawn Ades and David Hopkins).