Home > Art > Madrid > 
Madrid exhibition

Gleizes and Metzinger:
Du cubisme (1912-1947)

July 15August 29, 2015
Albert Gleizes [Untitled, 1946]: Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger,Du cubisme
Albert Gleizes [Untitled, 1946]: Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger, Du cubisme.
Paris: Compagnie Française des Arts Graphiques, 1947 © Vegap, Madrid, 2015
Jean Metzinger [Untitled, 1946]: Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger, Du cubisme
Jean Metzinger [Untitled, 1946]: Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger, Du cubisme.
Paris: Compagnie Française des Arts Graphiques, 1947 © Vegap, Madrid, 2015

From July 15 through August 29 2015 the Fundación Juan March will present the exhibition Gleizes and Metzinger: Du cubisme (1912-1947). Du cubisme (Cubism) is an essay by Cubist painters and theorists Albert Gleizes (1881–1953) and Jean Metzinger (1883–1956) that was published in book form in 1912 by the Parisian poet and publisher Eugène Figuière (1882–1944) to coincide with the initial group exhibition of Section d'Or artists organised in October 1912. It is considered to be the first formal treatise on Cubist aesthetics. A new edition of this work published in 1947 included an introduction by Gleizes and an epilogue by Metzinger, the former of which delved into the artists' motivations for writing the original essay. According to Gleizes, Du cubisme was conceived to clarify and summarise the premeditations, debates and influences that led to the emergence of Cubism, justify the Cubist thesis that painting is an outcome of inner reflection and clear up misunderstandings regarding the movement. He also stated that it was inspired by their conviction that painters rather than theorists should explain what the movement was about.

The book featured a selection of eleven prints by Pablo Picasso, Jacques Villon, Francis Picabia, Jean Metzinger, Fernand Léger, Marie Laurencin, Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Marcel Duchamp, André Derain and Georges Braque

The 1912 edition, which had significant impact and was translated into several other languages, contained reproductions of works by eleven artists arranged in the chronological order they had embraced Cubism: Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Georges Braque, Jean Metzinger, Marie Laurencin, Albert Gleizes, Fernand Léger, Marcel Duchamp, Juan Gris and Francis Picabia.

The 1947 edition of the book featured a selection of eleven prints by Pablo Picasso, Jacques Villon, Francis Picabia, Jean Metzinger, Fernand Léger, Marie Laurencin, Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Marcel Duchamp, André Derain and Georges Braque that included six etchings, three dry points and two aquatints. Although the plates for most of these works had been executed decades earlier, full editions were not authorised and published until 1947. For example, the plate Picasso had etched for Homme au chapeau (Man with a Hat) during the period 1914–1915 was not printed in an edition until preparations for the 1947 book were underway.

This exhibition includes a vintage copy of the 1947 edition and full set of accompanying prints drawn from the Fundación Juan March collection as well as three paintings by the authors of Du cubisme on loan from private collections: Les Musiciens (Musicians, 1920) and Composition (Composition, 1921) by Albert Gleizes and Nature morte, fruits, verre et noix (Still life with Fruit, a Glass and Nut, n.d.) by Jean Metzinger. The aforementioned work by Pablo Picasso, Homme au chapeau (1914–1915), has been loaned for this exhibition by the Fundación Picasso – Museo Casa Natal in Malaga.

The Fundación Juan March has made a conscious decision to reutilise the installation originally prepared for Modern Taste: Art Deco in Paris, 1910–1935, a previous exhibition that explored the emergence of new trends in art and design in France during first few decades of the twentieth century, as a setting for Gleizes and Metzinger: Du cubisme (1912-1947). This setting, which evokes Le Corbousier's Villa Savoye, has been recycled in a collage-like manner to create a Cubist environment based upon planes and volumes.

Schedule and location