Art 2 – Cubism – new ideas for discussion – Due 12/13


An interdisciplinary view on Cubism

Read the following article on Cubism carefully and have a virtual discussion on this blog with your classmates about the ideas that are familiar and that seem like revisionist history.  Are there assertions about the development of an art style that make more sense or seem more important to you, as an artist? Are there any assertions which seem contrived or a stretch of the imagination?  Do you agree or disagree with your classmates? about what? why? Do you have things in the contemporary culture today that influence the way you think and make art? Or are you only influenced more by art and other artists? What does your experience in making art tell you about the academic assertions of the author of this book?

Even the author of this book, Arthur I. Miller, about Picasso and Einstein asks some questions: ” I wrote Einstein, Picasso for lovers of art and science practiced at their most fundamental and exciting level, for aficionados of thinking across disciplines and generally for readers interested in the drama of high creativity. We wonder about the moment when everything comes together to produce incredible insights. How does this happen? How do thoughts emerge that go beyond the information at hand? Answering these questions demands a multidisciplinary mode of thinking and analysis that is becoming progressively more important as lines between disciplines become blurred. It is my hope that this book will further inspire this method of twenty-first-century thought…”


7 responses »

  1. In his article on cubism, Arthur I. Miller discusses the similarities between Einstein and Picasso and their contributions to the world of science and art (respectively). He claims that similar aspects of their lives, such as their social lives and the environments they lived in, influenced the way in which each man conducted his work. Miller also professes that the general mood of society at the beginning of the twentieth century and the surge in the advancement of science and technology inspired and influenced Einstein and Picasso. He states, “The age-old quest of both art and science has been to seek new representations of phenomena beyond appearances” and I believe that statement holds especially true for the early 1900s. The majority of the connections Miller makes in his article seem reasonable. For me personally, at one time or another, similar things have influenced my art (just not at the same scale that they influenced Picasso and Einstein’s work). For example, some days the medium, style, and subject of my art is based on my mood or something that happened to me or to someone around me. Sometimes, my art is influenced by a larger idea or concept. On other days, my art is based on something I saw that day or another artist’s work that inspired me. Overall, whether it is art or science or something else, I believe that there are an innumerable amount of things that contribute to someone’s productivity in their field of study and many of Miller’s assertions seem feasible.

    • Developing a context for art historical interpretation is like a lawyer developing an argument for a case. The evidence needs to be collected and the connections need to be drawn. The most convincing ones are always those that are grounded in the work and related works that led up to the art in question, demonstrating the artist’s mode of operation, or m.o. as they say. It’s a good question to consider what influences us. I think the personal context of our lives is the greatest player. Intellectually, we can internalize the day to day news but unless it impacts our personal lives, it usually is a secondary influence.

  2. The thing that stands out as revolutionary to me is how once Picasso created Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, art really changed forever. I think that a lot of what an artist creates depends on what is around him, effecting him. For example, Picasso’s lover said his were “the woman with whom he was in love; the poet, or poets, who served as a catalyst; the place where he lived; the circle of friends who provided the admiration and understanding of which he never had enough; and the dog who was his inseparable companion.” Since only Wisdomrosecreations has posted, I can say that I agree with everything that has been said so far. She makes a good point in saying that it is our experiences and what we see that impacts what we create when we make art. I am not sure if there is something in modern culture in particular that has an impact on my artwork, but I would say that it has a bigger impact for me than other artists, although I do look at art by Arthur Rackham for inspiration sometimes. I would guess that the author of the book was inspired a lot by art and science, particularly Picasso and Einstein.

  3. I thought it was very interesting how Picasso and Einstein’s professions began separate from their personal lives and then evolved. Also I see it as both the discoveries of Picasso and Einstein are primarily scientific and share theories that apply to both the world around us, and mathematical formulas. Also just as Uricyon said, I noticed that both the peoples love of the world around them derived from their loves of science and chemistry, as well as art…such as the lover for Picasso. For me, I don’t think I am inspired to do art. I think all my life is art. I approach everything with somewhat of an artistic view. Either strategically or just going with my feelings…I approach everything with one of the two…and that IS art. I think I am inspired by everything and anything and all artists impact me in their own way. I absorb something from everything…and that is stored into my database which I use to live and thrive.

  4. I agree with both Wisdomrosecreations and Urocyon about how the environments and surroundings of both Picasso and Einstein influenced their work. Though both figures were known for radically different things, they had many similarities. Most notably, they both lived during the turn of the 20th century, and so they both were exposed to an abundance of new and exciting ideas that caused them to want to think differently and try things that had never before been tried. Though others influenced them, such as Cézanne for Picasso and H.A. Lorentz for Einstein, they were the ones who pushed the limits of the new ideas and took them further: “Although Cézanne made the great leap to free art from a single perspective point, he remained rooted in the nineteenth century. Similarly Lorentz had almost formulated a proper theory of electromagnetic phenomena, and yet could not bring himself to interpret it as predicting the relativity of space and time. Einstein and Picasso, on the other hand, because they sought realities beyond appearances, each accomplished something entirely new.” I find this interesting and somewhat inspiring, because I think that often people believe that to be revolutionary or to do something incredible means to start from a completely independent idea. But this isn’t the case. Both of these two figures were exceptionally important, but started off the ideas and works of others. I believe that the importance of art is not the individuality of the idea, or where the idea came from – but the way it is portrayed by the artist and their variation of it. I think that the experiences an artist has – their childhood, their family, their hometown, their happiest and saddest moments of life – all add up to make each artist extremely different in ways that they apply to their work. I find that I am often influenced after looking at a particularly interesting/beautiful piece of artwork. It’s not that I want to replicate it, but that something in the art inspires me, and I want to capture that aspect and bring it into my own art in a way that might, or might not, be outwardly visible or obvious.

  5. In my point of view, Einstein and Picasso, the two genius, they are called genius because they break the manacle of normal thinking. They are brave and brilliant enough to discover and create new things by themselves. New style of art and new scientific theory are established from abnormal thinking. And of course, they get such a huge success not only because their smart brains, but also
    their experience of life that brings them ideas. For example, they have a free environment to discover and think things freely when they are young. It is the foundation of success. Art comes from normal life, but it also hides in the deep side of life. It is easy to find art, but it is really hard to create arts. You need a discovering heart and respect mood to treat life. And art is here.

    • You are right, it does help to be able to think freely without consequences. But, even in countries where it has been dangerous for artists to think freely, artists will still take risks to follow their sense of purpose in pursuing their artistic ideas.

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