Term used to describe a style in architecture and the applied arts, directly inspired by Cubist painting and sculpture, which was developed by architects and designers active in Prague shortly before World War I; the term itself was not used until the 1960s. The leaders of the style were the members of the Group of Plastic Artists (1911–14), which broke away from the Mánes Union of Artists in 1911 and for two years published its own journal, Umělecký měsíčník (‘Art monthly’). The architects in the group were Josef Gočár, Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and Pavel Janák; other members included Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka and Otto Gutfreund. The group was reacting against the austere rationalism of such architects as Jan Kotěra, seeking instead to sustain architecture and the applied arts as branches of art rich in content. Their approach was expounded in various articles, particularly by Janák, who developed the principles of architectural Cubism; based on the thesis of Cubism in painting and sculpture, that art should create a distinctive, parallel picture of reality, it attempted to dematerialize a building’s mass by the three-dimensional surface sculpturing of the façade with abstract, prismatic forms....
Mark Allen Svede
[EKR; Est. Eesti Kunstnikkude Rūhm.]
Estonian group of painters and sculptors active from 1923 to c. 1930. The group continued the progressive internationalist orientation of their predecessors in the Young Estonia movement and united a new generation of painters committed to Cubist experimentation. The group was founded in Tartu by Eduard Ole (b 1898) and Friedrich Hist (1900–41), joined by Felix Randel (1901–77, named Johansen until 1936). Their work, like that of much of their colleagues, was primarily distinguished by modest geometricized abstraction and decorative colourism suggested by Synthetic Cubism, rather than by explorations of simultaneity, collage etc. It also often displayed strong characteristics of Neue Sachlichkeit and Purism. The earliest Estonian practitioners of Cubism were among the group’s members: Jaan Vahtra (1882–1947) and Hist, who from 1921 studied in Latvia, where he kept company with the modernists of the Riga Artists’ group. In 1924 EKR exhibited in Tartu and Tallinn with the Latvians, by which time membership had grown with the critical additions of ...
[González Pérez, José Victoriano Carmelo Carlos]
(b Madrid, March 23, 1887; d Boulogne-sur-Seine, May 11, 1927).
Spanish painter, draughtsman, illustrator and writer, active in France. His artistic career was spent almost exclusively in France, where he was considered one of the leading Cubist painters from 1912 until his death. An artist valued for the depth and consistency of his approach rather than as an innovator, he is recognized for his independent and distinctive approach to Cubism and as one of its most influential later practitioners and theoreticians.
Gris specialized in mathematics, physics and engineering at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904; he later described this phase of his education as formative. His approach to Cubism, which has often been called scientific in its logic and precision, may well have been affected by his knowledge of technical drawings. He broke his scientific studies, however, to train briefly with the academic painter José Moreno Carbonero (1860–1942), and he decided to become an artist. From ...
(b Jičin, Feb 6, 1884; d 1964).
Czech designer. He was involved in developing the Cubist-influenced design and architectural style known as Czech Cubism, created in Prague shortly before World War I. He was a member of the Group of Plastic Artists (founded 1911), who created modern furniture, Cubist ceramics and such objects as candlesticks and ashtrays in non-ferrous metals....
(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).
Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...
(b Ivanovskoye, nr Moscow, April 24, 1889; d Moscow, May 25, 1924).
Russian painter and designer. She was born into a wealthy family and trained as a teacher before beginning her artistic studies with Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873–1944) and Konstantin Yuon. Their influence, particularly through their interest in luminous tonalities reminiscent of Impressionism, can be seen in early works by Popova such as Still-life with Basket of Fruit (1907–8; Athens, George Costakis Col.; see Rudenstine, pl. 725). Popova travelled extensively: in Kiev (1909) she was very impressed by the religious works of Mikhail Vrubel’; in Italy (1910) she admired Renaissance art, especially the paintings of Giotto. Between 1910 and 1911 she toured many parts of Russia, including Suzdal’, Novgorod, Yaroslavl’ and Pskov. Inspired by Russian architecture, frescoes and icons, she developed a less naturalistic approach. A more crucial influence was the first-hand knowledge of Cubism that she gained in Paris, which she visited with Nadezhda Udal’tsova during the winter of ...
(b Narbonne, Sept 13, 1889; d Solesmes, Sarthe, June 17, 1960).
French critic and poet. He arrived in Paris in October 1910 and quickly entered the circle of Cubist artists and poets. All his later work, both creative and critical, was strongly affected by Cubism, which provided the aesthetic model for his poetry. His influential though short-lived periodical Nord-Sud (1–16, March 1917 to Oct 1918) contained articles by both Cubists and the emergent Surrealists. In his first theoretical article ‘Sur le Cubisme’ (Nord-Sud, 1, pp. 5–7), Reverdy insisted on the complete autonomy of Cubist work; this was achieved by abstracting those elements of an object demanded by the painting alone: all representation was to be avoided. This austere, cerebral approach to Cubism brought him closest to the art of Gris and Braque. Reverdy was also much admired by the Surrealists, though his own interest in the movement was tempered by its emphasis on chance and the unconscious. His article ‘L’Image’ (...
(b Angoûleme, April 4, 1885; d Paris, March 25, 1937).
French painter, collagist, draughtsman and stage designer. A few years younger than most of the Cubists with whom he became associated, he received a traditional art education at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1906 to 1910. He did not participate in any of the manifestations of Cubism that took place before World War I. His interest in the movement appears to have developed under the influence of Albert Gleizes, who painted his portrait while both served near the front in the 167th regiment at Toul in 1914–15. By 1916 Valmier was making small and very delicate collages markedly different from those of Picasso, Braque or Gris, composed of minutely fragmented surfaces.
In 1919 Valmier signed a contract with the dealer Léonce Rosenberg, for whose Bulletin de l’effort moderne he later designed a cover. Rosenberg gave him his first one-man exhibition at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, Paris, in ...