Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907-1944

By John Golding | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

'On peut déjà prévoir le jour prochain où le terme CUBISME n'aura plus qu'une valeur nominative pour désigner dans l'histoire de la peinture contemporaine certaines recherches des peintres entre les années 1907-142. So Blaise Cendrars wrote in 1919 in an article entitled "Le Cube s'effrite".1 To the majority of people this obituary of Cubism must have seemed rather premature. For Cubism, it was obvious, had survived the war. Léonce Rosenberg, the dealer who had temporarily taken over Kahnweiler's role as the chief patron and supporter of the movement, had by 1919 presented at his Galerie de L'Effort Moderne large one-man exhibitions by five well-known Cubists, and was busily encouraging newcomers to the school.2 Exhibitions by Picasso and by Severini, who had by this time abandoned Futurism in favour of a purely Cubist idiom, were scheduled for the following year. Then, in January 1920, a secondexhibition of the Section d'Or was held at the Galerie de la Boétie with the intention of demonstrating the continued vitality and coherence of the movement.3 Almost all the Cubists, with the important exception of Picasso, showed at the Salon des Indépendants of this same year. After the opening Gris was able to write to Kahnweiler: 'the Salon des Indépendants opened with something of a success for the Cubists, who were taken seriously by the whole -- or almost -- of the press. Even Monsieur Vauxcelles admits that he has wronged us.'4

But if at the end of the war Cubist activity was resumed on a large scale, the character of the movement was deeply changed. The great revolutionary days were past. In art, as in politics, things which had seemed outrageous in 1914 were accepted almost without a murmur in 1919. As far as Cubism goes, this is proved by the fact that Vauxcelles, who before the war had been its bitterest opponent, was now able, as Gris noted, to look at it in a more detached and objective way. And in fact, as Kahnweiler has pointed out in his book on Gris, the

____________________
1
In La Rose Rouge, no. 3, 15 May 1919.
2
By 1919 there had been exhibitions of Braque, Léger, Metzinger, Herbin and Gris, Rosenberg had also shown Laurens and was planning a Hayden exhibition, two new recruits to Cubism.
3
Yet a third exhibition called La Section d'Or was held at the Galerie Vavin Raspail in 1925.
4
The Letters of Juan ris, p. 75. Letter of 31 Jan. 1920. Kahnweiler was in Switzerland.

-181-

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Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907-1944
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Acknowledgements 6
  • Abbreviation 6
  • Illustrations 7
  • Introduction 15
  • Chapter I - The History and Chronology of Cubism 19
  • Chapter II - Picasso and Braque 1907-12 47
  • Chapter III - Picasso, Braque and Gris 1912-14 96
  • Chapter IV - The Influence of Cubism in France 1910-14 138
  • Conclusion 181
  • Bibliography 188
  • Index 201
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