Gilden’s Arts Gallery is glad to present its new exhibition “A Journey into the European Avant-Garde: the Influence of Cubism”.

Heralded as one of the most original and influential artistic movements of the 20th century, Cubism aggressively challenged Western conceptions of pictorial representation. The impact of these ideas and pictorial forms reverberated throughout Europe and abroad.

Cubism was the first style of abstract art to evolve at the beginning of the 20th century in response to a world that was changing with unprecedented speed. It was an attempt by artists to revitalise the tired traditions of Western art which they believed had run their course. By defying conventional forms of representation, such as perspective, the Cubists developed a new way of seeing which reflected the modern age. This destruction of the traditional Western pictorial system left the door open for radical artistic experimentation that continues to this day.

In Paris, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque developed their ideas on Cubism around 1907, and their starting point was a common interest in the later paintings of Paul Cézanne. They created a new artistic vocabulary of multiple perspectives, interlocking planes and fractured, flattened masses. The cubist decomposition of the image into geometric shapes was a precursor for much of what followed; painting became more and more abstract as the century progressed.

Picasso and Braque conceived and developed Cubism but other artists also adopted the style, in particular Fernand Leger, Albert Gleizes, and Louis Marcoussis. From its Paris epicentre, cubist ideas quickly spread and profoundly affected the path of the Russian Avant-Garde, Italian Futurism and German Expressionism among others. In the following pages we present a special selection of significant works from the various Avant-Garde movements that have been touched by the prism of Cubism.