In the words of art critic John Berger, Cubism is the most significant revolution in art since the Renaissance. This is no exaggeration.
Linear perspective, which matured during the Renaissance and developed with the help of geometry, allowed humans for the first time in history to render precisely what we see with our eyes onto a two-dimensional surface. The trompe-l’oeil illusion can make the depicted as tangible and the space as real as if we could just walk into it.
In this realistic pictorial tradition that has long been taken for granted, paintings like Football Players (photo 1) might seem unimaginable and confusing. (We can start by finding out how many people are depicted in this picture.) In this seemingly chaotic picture by Albert Gleizes (1881-1953), a major figure of the Cubist movement, we can spot a player in blue top running with a rugby football. The player on the left grabs the shoulder of another player, as if trying to block his attack, while another player in the lower left corner falls on the green turf. At the top right of the picture you can see the spectators. Watching the fierce attack and defense in the field, we can almost hear the crowd cheering.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
In a single picture, we can see a series of actions, an exciting game full of twists and turns — and all these are supposed to be unfolded in time.
At the top of the screen, we see houses along a road, a bridge, and something like white clouds or mist on the horizon. These things are supposed to be part of the background, but they are not presented with distance and depth of field that could have been created via linear perspective (photo 2, 3). Instead, the “background” seems to be flattened like a pattern and placed on the same layer as the foreground and subjects.
Football Players demonstrates the mobile perspective and the principle of simultaneity proposed in the On Cubism, written in 1912 by Gleizes and Jean Metzinger (1883-1956). It is not a picture captured in a single moment from a single perspective — like a photograph does — but a combination of different aspects of things in constant movement.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Scrolls, a Chinese painting format, are also good at dealing with sequential time and space. The painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival is a well-known example (see Bilingual Arts on March 25, 2017). Qingming is like a long strip of film that consists of sequential scenes, and the viewer can decide where their gaze lingers. However, Football Players is like a messy pile of film, in which we have no choice but to view scenes from a different time and space at the same time.
Ever since the proto-cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) (photo 4), by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), and the coining of the term Cubism in 1911, the movement has continued to change the way we see the world.
(Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
Literary circles have been celebrating the legacy of late writer Eileen Chang, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday next week. Born in Shanghai, the legendary writer shot to fame in her 20s, and continued to write after moving to Hong Kong, and then the US, in the 1950s. Chang is one of the greatest female Chinese writers, and her classic works include Love in a Fallen City, The Golden Cangue, and The Red Rose and the White Rose. Many of her novels, such as Lust, Caution, were adapted into films and TV drama series. Based on Chang’s novel Aloeswood Incense
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,