October 15, 2014

Following on from my last post, which focused on the Renaissance art movement , in this instalment, I'm going to jump ahead a little to one of my favourite periods in art history, Cubism. Emerging in the early 20th century in Paris, Cubism is widely considered one of the most culturally significant and important movements of the last century.

Pioneered by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques, and later Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes, Cubism completely changed the direction of art and sculpture of the time, pushing boundaries by deconstructing classic techniques and conventional attitudes to form and shape. Examples of Cubist masterpieces can be seen in galleries the world over, but still the best place to immerse yourself in this genre is Paris. There are a couple of incredible exhibitions currently on in the city, as well as other permanent collections. Plus, when it takes just 35 minutes to cross the Channel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle , there's no reason not to go, really!

Marcel Duchamp's famous Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (click image for full painting).

Marcel Duchamp: La Peinture, Même, Centre Pompidou

In yet another bold and challenging move, this time from beyond the grave, Marcel Duchamp forces us to look again at his work and the intentions of his art. In this exhibition, a vast collection of Marcel Duchamp's paintings have been gathered, coming together in the largest retrospective of his painted work since shortly after his death. His style has been much debated over the years, overlapping and drawing on several movements, rather than maintaining a purist style. His famous Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 was famously rejected by the school of Cubism at the time in 1911, which was the catalyst behind his subversive attitude towards painting and art. His aim was always to make people think, to start conversations and debates, rather than just produce aesthetically pleasing pieces, and this new exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris does just that. The exhibition is now open and will be running until 5th January 2015.

 The Centre Pompidou, Paris
The Centre Pompidou, Paris

Sonia Delaunay: Les Couleurs de l'Abstraction, MAM

Sonia Delaunay has long been known primarily for being the wife of famous artist Robert Delaunay, without receiving much in the way of recognition for her own artistic talents. Finally, in this new exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, she is being given the recognition she deserves. In this retrospective, the collection of her work starts with her early experimental pieces influenced by the Belle Epoque, right through to her bold, colourful expressions of the 1970s. The exhibition traces the evolution of her style, breaking away from the conventions of the Fauvist movement, into her own style of Cubism, later termed 'Orphism'. Throughout her career, it is clear to see the emergence of her own personal avant-garde artistic voice, built on a foundation of mastery of formal techniques. The Les Couleurs de l'Abstraction exhibition will be on from 17th October 2014, until 22nd February 2015.

Sonia Delaunay's Bal Bullier is known for its expressive use of colour and movement (click image for full painting).

Musée Picasso Paris

After a lengthy closure for extensive refurbishment, the Musée Picasso is finally set to reopen this month in Paris. Doors will open to the public on 25th October, where you will be able to stroll through the galleries, once again marvelling at the masterful genius of Pablo Picasso. It comes at the most opportune of moments, really, alongside the other Cubism exhibitions on display around the city. In one weekend, you will be able to follow the movement from the early pieces by Picasso at its conception, right through to the myriad works it inspired and helped evolve.

Exploring Cubism with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Paris was the birthplace of Cubism and is still the best place in the world to explore the artwork that emerged out of this movement. Fortunately for you, Paris is a short three-hour drive from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal in Calais, and with a speedy 35-minute journey time across the Channel, you'll be there before you know it! Whether you're popping over for a day trip, a weekend break, or a longer holiday, as Audrey Hepburn once said, Paris is always a good idea.

Photo Credits:
Ciało w sztuce. Ilustracje do scenariusza lekcji. © Sztuka Dwadziesciaczteryh
The Centre Pompidou, Paris © Oh Paris
Le Bal Bullier (Sonia Delaunay, 1913) © Paul Haahr
Museo Picasso © Daniel Lobo

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