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Thread: Cubism and Dejstil

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    Cubism and Dejstil

    So I got a book about the history of modern art from the library, and these two wildly different movements are in the same chapter. Does anyone have any idea why?

    I guess the approach to painting of both types of artists was an attempt to get to the "true" nature of what we see, past what we actually see. Translated, I think what that means is essentially boiling down an object into the minimum amount necessary to represent it. Except, De Stijl kind of goes beyond that be not painting anything that actually exists at all, along with some Russian movements talked about in that chapter.

    My feelings about De Stijl are interesting (to me). I would love a room being painted in that way, but I feel no particular desire to look at it over and over.

    What do people make of these movements? Can they see any kind of common thread?

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    gryffindor Hermione's Avatar
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    They are both abstractionist, use primary colors and lots of black, minimalist, geometric lines and forms. Picasso and cubists relate a whole lot with Mondrian in my mind, they do. I guess when I look at them I'm not sure why you don't see the clear connection. I studied Art for years, but I still saw the connection when I was a kid. We had Mondrian prints at home and a Picasso print or two. I like the clarity and the abstraction mix. The primary colors and geometric shapes in classic artwork was a very precise and ingenius technique I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
    They are both abstractionist, use primary colors and lots of black, minimalist, geometric lines and forms. Picasso and cubists relate a whole lot with Mondrian in my mind, they do. I guess when I look at them I'm not sure why you don't see the clear connection. I studied Art for years, but I still saw the connection when I was a kid. We had Mondrian prints at home and a Picasso print or two. I like the clarity and the abstraction mix. The primary colors and geometric shapes in classic artwork was a very precise and ingenius technique I think.
    Right, but cubism is representing something. Mondrian and so forth is just geometric shapes. Mondrian had a very specific set of rules, and denounced another Destijl painter for including a diagonal line.

    Cubism doesn't also necessarily use primary colors. A lot of cubist works are actually very grey.

    I like this Mondrian, before he got into that stuff, quit

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    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Time period?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    Time period?
    That would be my guess, if it was a test question. I was actually surprised that Cubism got its start before the Great War. I had previously assumed that all this experimentation didn't happen until after 1914, at the earliest.

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    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slab_Bulkhead View Post
    Right, but cubism is representing something. Mondrian and so forth is just geometric shapes.
    i would think they're in the same chapter cuz of the time period and both were very concerned with breaking down visual/physical forms, yet they resulted in very different styles. iirc, mondrian was influenced by early cubism, but became interested in and much more strict about achieving a kind of pure abstraction, and de stijl developed in a direction of extreme simplification trying to depict a kind of "essence" of geometric form. so it was sort of a response to what he may have seen as a kind of cubist "failing."

    (feel free correct me if this is too simplified, or if there's a better way to explain/interpret this.)

    Spoiler: something i stole from the internet

    this shows mondrian's evolution from representational, to a more cubist style, coming ultimately to the extremely simplified geometric style he is known for. looking at the later paintings without this context of progression, you struggle to see how in any way these lines, shapes and colors could represent reality, and it's easy to think that they don't really represent anything. i'd rather see them as a particular style and interpretation of reality, cuz it's just more interesting to me that way.
    Last edited by jigglypuff; 06-30-2014 at 06:35 AM.

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    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slab_Bulkhead View Post
    along with some Russian movements talked about in that chapter.
    Suprematism? Cubo-futurism? Rayonism? Malevich?

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    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slab_Bulkhead View Post
    I guess the approach to painting of both types of artists was an attempt to get to the "true" nature of what we see, past what we actually see. Translated, I think what that means is essentially boiling down an object into the minimum amount necessary to represent it.

    I think it's important to realize that art is often more of an expression of an underlying philosophy or political agenda. It's no coincidence that the most refined abstract art movements - cubism, cubo-futurism, suprematism, etc - came shortly after Nietzsche and Marx and coincided with the Russian Revolution and general, political discord across the world (especially Europe). In Russia, actually, art and politics were almost one-and-the-same throughout most of the 20th century - nowhere else in the world was it taken so seriously, painting in the wrong way or the wrong style could get you killed - artists had political aspirations, and those in power were afraid of them.

    In general, what I think most of the abstract movements have in common is the breaking down of 2d visual form into something like a formal language, with each artist moving towards a "zero point" - such as Malevich's black square - where they feel they've broken the language down and understand it well enough to begin recreating in the absence of representation. The work from here will typically take a political tone, usually a Marxist or utopian one, where the artist has the idea in their head that their work is somehow "creating a new world" or "leveling social hierarchies".

    In this sense, representation and realism is sort of tied to things like Christian humanism (and Christianity in general) and the degradation of that is a Nietzchean form of "philosophizing with a hammer", i.e. something that may look destructive and perhaps nihilistic but whose ultimate goal is to rebuild the world in a new way.

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    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    "creating a new world"
    Bahaha. It's fun to watch this video:



    and to imagine that they're flying around Suprematist or De Stijl architecture:




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    gryffindor Hermione's Avatar
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    And that all made me think of Dali. When did he fit into all this? Much later or on the tails of this movement? Funny, that all those semesters of Art History and I just now think of this in any historical sense. History in school is stupid. It's all studied in isolation and strongly focuses on memorizing data rather than conceptualizing. I will say my prof did all he could to put it all in the context of the times as in social studies. Still. Maybe my brain at 20 was already boxed in and unable to think. Too much education, bah. You all have gots very good analysis points on here. Good posts. I may yet come to understand it better. Anything is possible.
    Last edited by Hermione; 06-30-2014 at 01:45 PM.
    All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage. Mycroft Holmes

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