Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Picasso/Braque,  Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis
Daniel Pitin, Ben Yates, Gilbert and George, Anthony Green, Robert Rauschenberg
Anselm Kiefer

Matisse developed his style to include his unique cut-outs but not necessarily to produce a multi-perspective.  He was interested in dance and one of the ways that he was able to define different spatial limits was in his Dance of 1931-33 which is produced in three portions on shaped canvases.  Simplicity of style was what he was endeavouring to find through new definitions of form.

Picasso’s development of cubism with Braque was a way of producing an object or person in three dimensions from different perspectives but to produce an image with little in the way of actual perspective, so that the image became a sort of cut out (similar to Matisse’s cut-outs) offering a different view of the same object. However, in works such as Night Fishing at Antibes 1939, Picasso produced multi images in a large painting which is very reminiscent in style to his Guernica painted two years earlier.

Bonnard had a different way of pursuing the idea of the unusual perspective which he did using panels for screens, which took his work away from the easel.  As a consequence his style became more decorative (Nannies’ Promenade, Frieze of Carriages, 1895/6.  In his Twilight, or Croquet Game of 1892, by producing “flat” images they become separated and slightly abstracted as if forming different motifs or pictures in the same painting. Maurice Denis develops this style even further.

Anthony Green’s shaped canvases with their multi aspects could be said to be reminiscent of Matisse’s cut-outs, except that Green has synthesized them into one image. Had Picasso’s separate objects in Night Fishing at Antibes been cut out and stuck to the support his work might have ended up looking similar. Green’s work is almost cubist at times but “opened out” cubism.

Gilbert and George use the multi-image approach to their work, but it is used more as a montage. Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After.  In Dead Boards No: 5, multi perspective images are interspersed with plain wood.

Robert Rauschenberg uses photography in his paintings to restructure the pictorial imagery in his “combines”, doing much the same thing as earlier collage, it incorporated a different discipline firmly into the art world. He also introduces objects into his work, such as the Goat inside the tyre.  Bonnard  effectively  incorporated small paintings within a painting which is similar to  Rauschenberg’s work which provides conflicting viewpoints in one painting.

Daniel Pitin de-constructs a scene by representing buildings and parts of buildings in seemingly impossible but readable scenes.  By painting in this way he effectively opens up the interior space not only in the painting but psychologically as well.  His paintings often depict war ravaged landscapes, exploring the darker side of the aftermath of conflict.

In terms of sculpture, contemporary work seems generally to display the temporary rather than the multi image.  Splashes of glass or material of all kinds, although Anselm Kiefer’s Books display various view points, but that is what sculpture is about, viewing something from different angles and in that sense it does draw upon the early cubist work I suppose. Because film can now utilize digital technology the created image can be incorporated into different aspects of a live frame by frame movie. Therefore the options for multi-layering and multi-imaging are limitless.

Digital photography enables artists to juxtapose images in three dimensional ways as seen in the work of Ben Yates’ photo cubism.  The view of reality can become split so that there is a discontinuity in the visual image leading to insubstantial views which can be provocative and disconcerting. 

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