Cubism and Culture

Mark Antliff, Patricia Leighten

"This is a book whose great achievement is to bring out the importance of the Cubists in a history far bigger than the history of art."—Christopher Green, Courtauld Institute of Art

Often considered to be the seminal art movement of the twentieth century, Cubism initiated a pictorial revolution through its radical approach to image making, invention of the new media of collage and sculptural assemblage, and evolution toward pure abstraction. Scholarly yet accessible, Cubism and Culture reveals these profound formal innovations as integrally related to changes in French society. The authors first examine the movement's origins in primitivism and its engagement with issues of race and colonialism, and then consider the Cubists' responses to anti-Enlightenment philosophies, the relation of Cubist art to the “classical,” the role played by gender conceptually and within particular careers and practices, collage and its interplay with cultural themes, and the impact of anarchism, nationalism, and pacifism on Cubism's cultural politics. This comprehensive and fresh examination of Cubism in its wider context—social, cultural, political, scientific, and philosophical—covers the full range of art and artists from the movement's advent in 1908.

Among the artists included: Alexander Archipenko, Maria Blanchard, Georges Braque, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, André Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Albert Gleizes, Juan Gris, Alice Halicka, Roger de La Fresnaye, Marie Laurencin, Henri Laurens, Henri Le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger, Jacques Lipchitz, Louis Marcoussis, Frans Masereel, Jean Metzinger, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso.


Mark Antliff


Mark Antliff is Associate Professor of Art History at Duke University and author of Inventing Bergson: Cultural Politics and the Parisian Avant-Garde. He co-edited with Matthew Affron Fascist Visions: Art and Ideology in France and Italy.

Patricia Leighten


Patricia Leighten is Associate Professor of Art History at Duke University and author of Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897-1914.