Sat, Dec 28, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Bilingual Arts: Collage and abstraction as Cubist legacy
雙語藝術:立體派的拼貼與抽象

Photo 1: Pablo Picasso. Still Life with Chair Caning. 1912. Oil on oil-cloth cover canvas edged with rope. 29cm × 37cm. Collection of Picasso Museum, Paris, France.
圖一:帕布羅‧畢卡索。《有藤椅的靜物》。一九一二年。油彩、油布、藤編圖案紙、畫布。二九×三七公分。法國巴黎畢卡索美術館藏。

Photo: Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報林俐凱

Collage, a Cubist invention, gets its name from the French “coller,” meaning glue. As a house decorator in his earlier career, Georges Braque was certainly very familiar with wallpapering. The simple act of pasting something from real life onto a painting, on the other hand, was a revolution that shook the art world.

Still Life with Chair Caning (1912) (photo 1) is the first collage by Pablo Picasso. An oilcloth with the cane seat of a chair printed on it was glued onto the oval framework of a canvas instead of depicting the chair (not even in Cubism did objects seem to be all fragmented). This direct “quotation” from reality in place of a hand-drawn effort problematized the mystified “master’s touch” by the act of cutting and gluing, and it also confuses the line between mass-produced goods and high art.

The “readymade” introduced in 1914 by Marcel Duchamp, once a Cubist, can be understood in the same vein, although the idea of readymades was pushed further, into complete rejection.

Art has since then become irrevocably conceptualized, igniting meta-thinking about the question “what is art?” This continues to this day, and these concepts have come to override the physical artwork and become art itself.

From Paul Cezanne, Cubists learned the method of abstraction — breaking down reality into geometric elements and reassembling them in art (see Bilingual Arts on Nov. 30). As a favorite motif of Braque and Picasso, violins/guitars, which are seen in many of their works, were repeatedly used to experiment with the Cubist style.

How the early Cubists broke down reality can be seen in Braque’s Violin and Palette (1909, photo 2). The violin, sheet music, and other shapes were “crushed” and then put back together like a mosaic.

Braque’s Guitar (Scouts) (1913, photo 3) ventured much further from representation. Only wood grain paper, newspaper fragments, and a few charcoal lines were used as keywords or reminders, leaving the viewer to reconstruct the objects and fill in the gaps communicated by the art based on their own knowledge. Although this way of creating meaning is highly dependent on signs, it is not completely abstract, and the attempt to “representation” can still be seen in traces of reality.

Picasso’s Violin and Bottle on a Table (1915, photo 4) is just like a 3D version of Braque’s Guitar (Scouts), echoing the pair’s close artistic relation, and demonstrating the application of Cubist principles to sculpture.

Cubism was like a “big bang” of the art world. From it radiated collage, abstraction, avant-garde art and other movements, which would later each develop their own galaxies, making modern, post-modern and contemporary art seem like footnotes to Cubism.

(Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)

立體派的另一項發明是拼貼(collage)。拼貼一詞來自法文「coller」,意為用膠黏上。布拉克原從事室內裝修工作,因此對於貼壁紙再熟悉不過。然而,將現實生活中的東西貼到一幅畫上,這簡單的動作,卻是驚天動地的藝術革命。

《有藤椅的靜物》(一九一二年)【圖一】,是畢卡索第一件拼貼作品。在橢圓形畫面的左下方,他貼了一塊印有藤椅紋路的油布,取代了對藤椅的描繪(即便是立體派式「支離破碎」的呈現方式)。這種對現實的直接「引用」,代替了手工繪製,使得對「大師手筆」的崇拜無以為繼,也混淆了大量製造的大眾物品與高級藝術間的界線。

曾為立體派一員的杜象在一九一四年起引進了「現成物」(readymade),即可見其相同脈絡,但卻是更激烈的拒絕態度。

藝術從此也變得「概念化」,一發不可收拾,點燃了持續至今對「何謂藝術」的後設思考,使這些概念凌駕了藝術品的物質性,而成為藝術本身。

立體派從塞尚學到了將現實景象拆解為基本要素、再重新組合的抽象方法(參見十一月三十日的「雙語藝術」)。提琴/吉他是布拉克與畢卡索鍾愛的母題,藉由對這些弦樂器造型的實驗,反覆推敲立體派的風格形式。

由【圖二】布拉克的《小提琴與調色板》(一九○九年),可看見早期立體派對現實的破解方式。小提琴、琴譜等形體壓碎後,像馬賽克一樣鑲嵌到平面上來(雖然「Cubism」的中文名譯為「立體」派,但這些作品其實很平面、非常沒有立體感)。

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