Cubism, Russia and Naum Gabo

Until Fri 28 Feb 2020

Open daily, 10am-5pm

  • FREE

Cubist art emerged in Paris around 1907. The two main ‘inventors’ of Cubism were the French painter Georges Braque (1882–1963) and the Spaniard Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). The term ‘Cubism’ originated in a derogatory remark made by an art critic in 1908: he said that Braque reduced everything ‘to geometric outlines, to cubes’. The term ‘Cubism’ soon came into widespread use, although in fact Cubist paintings rarely feature cubes.

Many foreign artists visited Paris and became captivated by this new style. Instead of seeking a photographic likeness, or a fixed viewpoint, the Cubists would paint a motif as if seen simultaneously from different angles. This innovation implied that the artist had moved around the subject and that the relationship between an artist and the subject was a dynamic one linked to movement, speed and the modern world.

Russian artists – for example Lyubov Popova – were particularly drawn towards Cubism, seeing it as a new, revolutionary approach, which corresponded to the new, revolutionary ideas which were emerging in Russian society. Naum Gabo’s Column was conceived as a public sculpture while he was living in Russia in about 1921. His starting point may lie in the geometric, almost abstract nature of Cubism, but Gabo took things a stage further, calling his art Constructivist.

Image: Georges Braque, Le Bougeoir [The Candlestick], 1911
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.

Event accessibility

Display accessibility

  • Large print labels
  • Wheelchair access


Gallery facilities

The Changing Places toilet is located in the rear car park of Modern One with accessible parking spaces located nearby. The unit is open 9am-5pm, every day, a key is not required.

The lift at Modern Two is currently out of order. There is no stair-free access to the upper level of Modern Two.

A full accessibility guide is available at www.accessibilityguides.org for Modern One and Modern Two.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Hearing loop
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing places toilet
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • On-site parking (£2)
  • Disabled parking
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack

Getting here

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.

In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.

75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

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