Crossing Cultures with Cubism
Lott, Debra, School Arts
The study of Cubism is an excellent approach to influence and inspire high school students with artworks of a diverse time. Cubism not only changed the existing art society of the early twentieth century, but the art of future cultures as well. In itself, Cubism is synonymous with diversity; from its birth in Paris, Cubism spread all over the world. Its influence was seen in a variety of media and artwork outside Paris including Spain, Italy, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, England, and America.
In each country, and in the work of many of the artists of that era, Cubism developed into a unique but diverse entity. Primitive sculpture from non-Western countries, Africa, Oceania, and Iberia, was a significant element that shaped the initial development of Cubism. Picasso incorporated images of African masks in Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.
Social Studies Connection
In the beginning of the twentieth century, the world was in a period of rapid change. Technological advances in communication and flight changed the perception of distance and time. Science and philosophy of this era also changed the concept of time and space. The Cubists were greatly affected by these advancements and their artwork demonstrated these changes. The Cubists wanted to transform their images with many viewpoints and perspectives and create a new reality in their artwork.
The Cubist Still Life
Teachers and students can collaborate to create a still life that represents a melting pot of cultures. In a diverse classroom, students may volunteer to provide objects from their own cultures. These may include masks, cultural dress and fabrics, hats, ceramic objects, musical instruments, and symbolic artifacts.
The Characteristics of Cubism
Familiarity with the characteristics of Cubism is necessary when creating this composition. In this movement, artists no longer drew subjects in a natural or realistic fashion. The following are typical characteristics of Cubism:
* Rearrangements of objects as if they were broken and put back together
* Drawing different viewpoints of the same object
* Drawing objects in a geometric fashion or with a faceted shape
* Drawing different perspectives in the same composition
* Transparent treatment of opaque objects
* Restricted color schemes (Analytic Cubism--muted shades of green, gray and brown)
* Collage--Synthetic Cubism
Materials * reproductions of Cubist art work by Picasso, Braque, and Gris * still-life objects representing different cultures * 18x24" (46x61cm) watercolor paper * 18 x 24"(46 x 61 cm) tracing paper * paintbrushes * acrylic paint * sizes * variety of different of drawing paper * scissors Procedures To facilitate the planning of the Cubism composition and guide students who need support with this process: 1. …