Diego Rivera. Man, Controller of the Universe . 1934. Main panel: 15’ 11" × 37’ 6”.
Robert Delaunay. L’Equipe de Cardiff (The Cardiff Team) . 1913. 10’ 8-3/8" × 6’ 10”.
Map: Picasso's Montmartre.
What are Cubism, Fauvism, and Futurism? The new century was marked by technological innovation epitomized by the automobile (and its speed), the motion picture, the airplane, and, perhaps most of all, by new discoveries in physics, to quantum mechanics, the theory of complementarity, and the theory of relativity. The focal point of artistic innovation was Pablo Picasso’s studio in Paris. There, in paintings like the large canvas Les Demoiselles d’Avignon , he transformed painting. In what ways is Les Demoiselles a radical departure from then-contemporary art? Picasso’s project was quickly taken up by Georges Braque, and the two worked together to create the style that came to be known as Cubism. What are the primary features of Cubism? How would you describe collage as a technique? Henri Matisse meanwhile helped to create the Fauve movement. What is Fauvism’s chief concern? How would you compare the paintings of Matisse and Picasso? The Futurists, led by Filippo Marinetti, would introduce the idea of speed and motion into painting. How is their work an attack on traditional values? In music and dance, composer Igor Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes of impresario Sergei Diaghilev would shock Paris with the performance of Le Sacre de printemps in May 1913. How would you describe Stravinsky’s music and Diaghilev’s dance?
Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Gertrude Stein . 1906, Winter–Autumn. 39-3/8" × 32”.
Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon . 1907, May-July. 95-1/8" × 91-1/8”.
Maurice Radiguez. “Le Bouillon de Tête.” Published in L’Assiette au beurre , March 11, 1905. 1905.
Henri Matisse. Bonheur de vivre (The Joy of Life) . 1905-6. 69-1/8" × 94-7/8”.
Henri Matisse. The Dance . 1910. 8’ 5-5/8" × 12’ 9-1/2”.
Georges Braque. Houses at L'Estaque . 1908. 28-3/4" × 23-3/4”.
Pablo Picasso. Houses on the Hill, Orta de Ebro . 1906. 25-5/8" × 31-7/8”.
Georges Braque. Violin and Palette . 1909, Autumn.
Closer Look: Picasso's Collages: Le Journal (The Newspaper) , November 18, 1912. Front page. 1912.
Pablo Picasso. Closer Look: Picasso's Collages: Guitar, Sheet Music, and Wine Glass . 1912. 18-7/8" × 14-3/8”.
Carlo Carrà. Interventionist Demonstration . 1914. 15-1/8" × 11-7/8”.
Umberto Boccioni. Unique Forms of Continuity in Space . 1913. 43-7/8" × 34-7/8" × 15-3/4”.
Igor Stravinsky. Musical Notation: Le Sacre de printemps (The Rite of Spring): "Sacrificial Dance of the Chosen One." (2 lines of music).
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Self-portrait with Model . 1910. 58-5/8" × 39”.
What is German Expressionism? German Expressionism combined the Fauves’ exploration of color with the primitivism of Nijinsky’s choreography in an art that centered on the psychological makeup of its creators. The two chief groups in painting were Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter. What are the primary characteristics of each? How do Wassily Kandinsky’s theories about color inform the paintings of the Blaue Reiter group? In music, the Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg, who exhibited his own self-portrait paintings with the Der Blaue Reiter, dispensed with traditional tonality, the harmonic basis of Western music, and created new atonal works. What is the 12-tone system that he used? What is Sprechstimme , and how did he use it? Nothing could be further from the lyrical compositions of his near-contemporary, Giacomo Puccini, whose operas—and a number of arias in particular—are nearly without parallel for the beauty of their melodies. Despite their differences, what beliefs do both Schoenberg and Puccini share?
Franz Marc. The Large Blue Horses . 1911. 3’ 5-3/8" × 5’ 11-1/4”.
Gabriele Münter. The Blue Gable . 1911. 34-15/16" × 39-5/8”.
What innovations distinguish the literary world in the early years of the twentieth century? Like the visual arts and music, a spirit of innovation dominated the literary scene as well. The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire experimented with poetic forms. What characterizes his calligrammes ? What techniques does he share with his friend Picasso? Ezra Pound and the Imagists sought to capture the moment, in the most economic terms, when the “outward and objective” turns “inward and subjective.” What was Walt Whitman’s influence on Pound?
Guillaume Apollinaire. “Il Pleut” (“It’s Raining”) . From Selected Poems of Apollinaire, Translated in its original form by Oliver Bernard. 1914.
What are the origins of cinema? The invention of cinema is anticipated in the photographic work of Étienne-Jules Marey and Eadweard Muybridge. What was the primary focus of their work? The Kinetoscope, the first continuous-film motion-picture viewing machine, was invented by Thomas Edison and W. K. Laurie Dickson. It used celluloid film on a roll introduced by George Eastman in 1888 for the new Kodak camera. The first projected motion pictures available to a large audience had their public premiere on December 28, 1895, in Paris when August and Louis Lumière showed 10 films that lasted for about 20 minutes. When entrepreneurs realized the potential market of the thousands of immigrants who had arrived from southern and central Europe, the nickelodeon was born. In January 1915, D. W. Griffith introduced his 13-reel epic, The Birth of a Nation . What possibilities for cinema did this film propose? hat visual vocabulary did it introduce?
Pablo Picasso’s Paris: At the Heart of the ModernWhat are Cubism, Fauvism, and Futurism?• The Aggressive new Modern Art: Les Demoisellesd’Avignon — Picasso’s work shows a shift in painting from an opticalart to an imaginative construct, from the literal to the conceptual. LesDemoiselles was an act of liberation, an exorcism of past traditions,perhaps of painting itself.• Matisse and the Fauves: A New Color –- The artist was theleader of a radical group of experimental pointers known as the Fauves,or “Wild Beats.” Fauvism was known for it’s radical application ofarbitrary, or unnatural, color.• The Invention of Cubism: Braque’s Partnership withPicasso — Braque was a Fauve but with Houses at l’Estaque heintroduced spatial ambiguity and cube-like shapes which fascinatedPicasso. Cubism was born out of their collaboration.
• Futurism: The Cult of Speed — Futurism rejected the political andartistic traditions of the past and called for a new art. The Futuristsrepudiated static art and sought to render what they thought of as thedefining characteristic of modern urban life – speed.• Modernist Music and Dance: Stravinsky and the BalletsRusses — The dynamism and invention evident in both Cubism andFuturism also appeared in music and dance. The composer Stravinskyand choreographer Nijinsky premiered the ballet Le Sacre deprintemps; the performance was a scandal. This piece helped to definemodern art as antagonistic to public opinion and an affront to its values.• Discussion Question: What is the importance of speed in the early 20thcentury?
The Expressionist Movement: Modernism inGermany and AustriaWhat is German Expressionism?• Die Brucke: The Art of Deliberate Crudeness — Four artistsfrom Dresden called themselves Die Brucke. They believed thatthrough jarring contrasts of color and jagged, linear compositions theycould free the imagination from the chains that enslaved it.• Der Blaue Reiter: The Spirituality of Color — This expressionistgroup had no common style but all were obsessed with color. For theartist Franz Marc, the color blue is the masculine principle of spirituality.For Munter, yellow was the female principle.• A Diversity of Sound: Schoenberg’s New Atonal Musicversus Puccini’s Lyricism — Schoenberg abandoned tonality andcreated a music of complete atonality. In contrast, Puccini wrote operasof emotional lyricism such as Madama Butterfly and Tosca.• Discussion Question: What are the differences between Schoenbergand Puccini?
Early Twentieth-Century LiteratureWhat innovations distinguish the literary world in the first years ofthe twentieth century?• Guillaume Apollinaire and Cubist Poetics — A new approach topoetry and prose called the “revolution of the word,” was led byApollinaire. He latched on to the principle of collage. In “Lundi, rueChristine” he offers snatches of overheard conversation that follow oneanother without transition or thematic connection.• Ezra Pound and the Imagists — The Imagists were a group ofEnglish and American poets who sought to create precise images inclear, sharp language. Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” is in manyways the classic Imagist poem.
Active Listening Guide: Schoenberg:"Madonna" from Pierrot LunaireMyArtsLabChapter 34 – The Era of Invention: Paris and the Modern World
Active Listening Guide: Puccini: "Un bel di"from Madama ButterflyMyArtsLabChapter 34 – The Era of Invention: Paris and the Modern World
The Origins of CinemaWhat are the origins of cinema?• The Lumiere Brothers’ Celluloid Film Movie Projector — InParis, these brothers presented the first projected motion picturesavailable to a large audience. Their 10 films were projected throughtheir Cinematographe camera.• The Nickelodeon: Movies for the Masses — Nickelodeontheaters were very popular by 1910. They catered to the aspirations ofthe working class, and most often to women and children. These silentfilms were particularly accessible to working-class, immigrantaudiences.
• D.W. Griffith and Cinematic Space — Griffith was the foremostsingle-reel director of the day. His 13-reel epic The Birth of a Nationwas about the Civil War and Reconstruction but its unrepentant racismled to riots. This film nonetheless demonstrated the viability of whatcame to be called the feature film. An even more important aspect ofthe film was the large repertoire of camera shots that Griffith used tocreate visual variety in a film of such length.• Discussion Question: In what way did the development of cinemainfluence the visual arts?