Cubism was a movement that changed fundamentally the course of twentieth-century art. It had far-reaching effects, both conceptual and stylistic, which are still being felt today. Described in 1912 by French poet and commentator Guillaume Apollinaire as 'not an art of imitation, but an art of conception', Cubism irreversibly altered art's relationship to visual reality. 'I paint things as I think them, not as I see them', Picasso said.
Cubism & Australian Art examines for the first time the impact of this transformative art movement on the work of Australian artists, from the early 1920s to the present day. The authors argue that by its very nature, Cubism was characterised by variation and change, that the idea of a pure or original Cubism was short lived, and that its appearance in Australian art parallels its uptake and re-interpretation by artists internationally. In the words of French artist Andre Lhote, mentor to several Australians who studied at his Academy in Paris: 'There are a thousand definitions of Cubism, because there are a thousand painters practising it'.
More than eighty international and Australian artists are showcased with over 300 works, featuring Sam Atyeo, Ralph Balson, Grace Crowley, Frank Hinder, Roger Kemp, Godfrey Miller, Stephen Bram and Daniel Crooks, as well as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Fernand Leger.