Article by Caroline Haller
Cubism was a highly influential art movement of the early 20th century. Developed between 1908-1914 by the Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso, alongside French artist George Braque. Cubism was inspired by the work of Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne.
Perhaps the first cubist painting was Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon (1907). This canvas represented five women built up of angular body parts and African mask inspired faces. The figures were viewed from a multitude of perspective viewpoints in a shallow compositional space. As Cubism developed, artists reconstructed their scenes based on geometric abstraction and favored structure over color, leading to dull and muted colors.
The iconic pictorial imagery created by Cubism makes it easy to understand why artists today would still be inspired by it. Cubism broke with traditional artistic practice and inspired some of the leading artists today!
Below I made a list of five contemporary artists whose work is inspired by Cubism!
1. Hera Kim
Learn more on her website here: Artist - Hera Kim
Follow her on Instagram @herakim.gallery
Born in 1986 in Seoul, Korea, Kim lives and works out of Washington, D.C. Kim graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014. Kim’s paintings are influenced by several artists throughout art history. Through the study of canvases by Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, Francis Bacon and Hilma af Klint, Kim developed her own unique style. Kim paints a complex gridwork before adding to it with geometric shapes and colors. In Kim’s Joggers series, the subject is broken up into fractured pieces and reconstructed in geometric shapes. Kim’s Joggers also include the multiple visual perspectives popularized by Cubism.
2. Corne Akkers
Check out his art and website here: Home Corne Akkers - Corne Akkers Art
Follow him on Instagram @corne.akkers
Born in Nijmegen in 1969, Akkers is an established contemporary artist with collectors across the globe. Merging Impressionism, Cubism and Surrealism, Akkers created his own unique style he coined “Roundism.” Akkers was inspired by the works of George Braque and Pablo Picasso and the conal shaped figures in Tamara de Lempicka’s Andromeda of 1927-28. Akkers’s Anaglyphical Roundism, is just that, a round version of Cubism. It is an image broken up into fractured sections and put back together, only those sections are rounded rather than the favored angular geometric shapes of the early 20th century Cubists. However, unlike the Cubists, Akkers pays close attention to realistic compositional depth. Specifically, Akkers pays particular attention to light and shadow.
3. Jean-Luc Feugeas
Follow him on Instagram @jeanlucfeugeas
French painter, Jean-Luc Feugeas’s Un Sauvage was created for the Festival of Urban Art in Dax, France in 2019, as a public mural project. With a PhD in mathematics, Feugeas’s university research in theoretical physics guides his practice. The rules of perspective and geometric principles are evident on the surface of his paintings. In Un Sauvage, the fragmentary blocks of color add an element of whimsiness to the sense of longing and hopelessness. Though more simplistic in its shapes than Cubist works, Un Sauvage shares a dedication to geometric composition and merges the foreground and background into a flattened plane.
4. Guillaume Defins
Follow him on Instagram @guillaume_defins
The contemporary French Painter, Guillaume Defins was born in 1984. Defins has exhibited across France and in Belgium. His canvases feature dreamlike abstract scenes created with acrylic, pastel, India ink, spray paint and occasionally sand. Serie “CUBISME” #2 features the fractured vertical guitar from Picasso’s early 20th century Cubist canvases. With pops of blues, like Picasso, Defins epitomizes the Cubist mindset.
5. Artsrun Asatryan
Follow him on Instagram @asatryanartsrun
Born in Armenia in 1993, Asatryan began painting at only 10 years old. Asatryan attended the Yerevan Academy of Fine Arts. Typically, Asatryan uses figures of women to carry out a Cubist manifesto. While some of his work is more figurative, his canvas Adam and Eve is very abstracted. The figures of Adam and Eve are hardly visible in the fractured image. Though he doesn’t shy away from color, for Adam and Eve, Asatryan used beiges and muted tones, which highlights the Cubist principle that structure is more important than color.