Shape Task- Picasso, Guernica 1937




Think about why Picasso has used particular shapes in the image above. Pick 3 shapes and explain why YOU think Picasso chose those shapes, what feeling or meaning do the shapes convey?

Evil eye with a blazing light bulb inside- The light bulb is cleverly used by Picasso as, in Spanish the word light bulb is ‘bombilla’ also meaning ‘bomb’ in Spanish. I think he wanted to convey the point of the bombs within the cubic shapes and styles by creating symbolic imagery rather the literal vision of a bomb going off.

Horse- Having the blazing eye shape above the horse then suggests the sufferings it’s causing beneath it. I think having the horse knelt beneath the shape infers the hurt and damage it’s doing and creates other intriguing shapes coming off of it, like the soldier beneath. The horse is the main point of the image as it grabs your attention and draws your eye into this point and therefore leads your eye around to the rest of the image that unfolds within it.

Women floating- I think Picasso wanted to convey the war, not just with the soldiers and bombs, but with the civilians in the town of Basque within this room. He used cubism to place the objects carefully together to depict the sufferings war cause. Using the women and men infer how innocent lives are lost and the hurt the suffering costs for everyone else.

I think these three shapes best explain the atmosphere of the piece rather than including the typical war scenario of bombs and soldiers in the towns, but the other hurt that goes on around like the animals and civilians placed within a room. This then could be presented to the government and shown across Europe to show the effects and try and rebel against it.

If you had to reduce yourself to a single shape, which one would you choose and why? Say why this shape best describes you. Do not think about physical appearances think about your personality. In addition, choose a number of people you know and create a shape that best represents the essence or aura of each person. Sketch these shapes and DESCRIBE IN DETAIL how and why they represent the people you have chosen.

I think the shape that best describes me is the floating woman in the painting or a square. I’m closed at first glance, watching over my surroundings, finding it hard to open up but once I get to known people I unfold and share my feelings towards each scenario.

I would describe my boyfriend in the shape of a lightning bolt as he’s fun and energetic and can get hyper. Also, being a guy typically would come across as simple minded without being emotional like a girl would so the thick, bold lightning bolt would suggest a straight, maybe confused point in which it leads to.

A friend to me represents a circle as she has a perfect balance within her life, as if mirrored both sides would be of happiness, hope and love. She is a well-rounded person and shares love and happiness to those around. However, the circle could also represent her lack of open mindedness as she is so filled with hope it could lack experience and knowledge of more sad and emotional happenings.

A typical Cubist painting depicts real people, places or objects, but not from a fixed viewpoint. Instead it will show you many parts of the subject at one time, viewed from different angles, and reconstructed into a composition of planes, forms and colours. The whole idea of space is reconfigured: the front, back and sides of the subject become interchangeable elements in the design of the work.


Cubism and Futurism

Cubism and Futurism

– from a focus on form to a need for speed! –


-Picasso, 1912- violins & grapes


• geometric

• central, face on view

• contours show the suggestion of objects 

• realistic representation of a 3D object in a 2D flat piece (one plane, squashed) 

• 4th dimension of time (unique), by moving around the object when painting & constructing the piece 

• side view also by the top of the violin on a side view around the other side of the object. 


• timescale -1907-1922

• context:

– progress had led to new ways of seeing 

– pace of life was generally faster (referring to things like trains – perspective of seeing things move slowly from afar and fast up close)

– people could experience the world from above (like the eiffel tower) 

– clear awareness that the world had changed more in the last 30 years than in the previous thousands

– cezanne 

– arts most radical break with the past


Themes and concerns:

– non western art

– freedom to distort

– paint what you know rather than what is seen (like cezanne)

– emphasize 2D nature of canvas

– reason and design

– truth in form

– wanted to give a precise image of object on a flat plane with no illusion


Analytical cubism 1910-12

-analysis – breaking objects apart into facets and putting them back together

– broke with the convention of perspective 

– doubt about sensory perception

– forms were geometrically simplified

– muted pallets (don’t want colour to distract) 

– simultaneous depiction of various aspects of reality

– Main Artists: Picasso & Braque 

Picasso – les Demoiselles d’Avigoion 1907

– more geometric for a nude painting

– non western part is the African masks on the two right people

– suggestion of depth (foreground fruit, background colour) but not much, more of a compressed image



– Braque L’Estaque 1908, houses

Georges Braque, Houses at l'Estaque, o/c, 1908 (Bern)

• cubes look like houses

• perspective goes round and back towards you so doesn’t make sense. Trees in the foreground

• painted in the south of France 

• geometric- triangle cubes


Review of analytical cubism

• main points:

– subject matter still life’s, human face and figure, landscapes are quite rare. 

– subject of a picture is identifiable but abstracted 

– emphasised 2D nature of canvas

– distrust of perception

– Superimposed several viewpoints simultaneously 

– Destroyed the subject and reconstructed it giving new conceptions of space


Synthetic cubism-

Picasso: cane chair 1912

– typography used to suggest the 2 dimensional shape

– French newspaper placed on the glass table

– cafe chair, caning material shows this is a cafe

– birds eye view (down through the glass table of the coffee, lemon, knife etc but harder to make out)

(More analytical cubism)

– synthetic image (chair cane= stuck down image onto the piece, inadvertally invented collage)

– more handmade/factory industry in a mass produce society -> including that in his work


Synthetic cubism 1912

– began to introduce real objects into pictures – invented collage

– synthetic = pulling together

– attention to other 2d works

– led to 3D collage

– less complicated & more accessible

‘’ & ‘’



Picasso- guitar 1912

– revolutionary

– everything before was from carving 


Braque- fruit bowl & glass 1912


Review of synthetic cubism

• main points:

– massive impact on sculpture & architecture 

– adding real life objects to the canvas

– invention of collage

– textural values 



– Juan Gris – still life with pipe & newspaper

– Geometric

– 2 dimensional 

– Typography

– fernand leger – the city 1919

– geometric

– chaotic

– bold colours

– Robert delauriay – the red tower 1909

-primary colours

– geometric

– moved around the Eiffel tower to create different cubic compositions

^ more tone near the end. 



– broccioni, 1911 – forces of the street

• slow shutter speed alluding


•timescale 1909-16

• context:

– planet E-stream clip

– conceived in Italy as Italy as Italian artists felt excluded from the European art discussion

– they knew of advances being made elsewhere

– they wanted an ‘orgy of destruction’

– manifesto 1909

– fascism 


Themes and concerns:

– influenced by analytic cubism so focused on simultaneity but also showed movement

-dynamic, speed, interlocking of interior and exterior worlds, energy

– all materials are of equal value

– Main Artists- Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini 


Boccioni- Dynamism of a soccer player 1913

Boccioni- unique forms of continuity in space 1913

Balla – dynamism of a dog on a leash 1912

Chronophotography – Frenchman Etienne – Jules Marey, a scientist


Review of Futurism

Main points:

– Dynamism

– wanted to show movement and energy

– obsessed with modern life and worshiped the machine

– the only 20th Century art movement to have right wing political tendencies

David Hockney, 1983, Christopher Isherwoof talking to Bob Holman 1983

– photographic collage

– images within an image

– still using the geometric style

Picasso, 1909-10, seated Nude

– collage of shapes

– hands suggest nude through covering up body parts

– dark piece with black outlined shapes 

– geometric

– lighter areas coming from the light source within the image

Luigi Russolo, “Dynamism of a car” 1912-13

– looks like a fast car

– suggests speed by the geometric angles 

– red, orange, yellow analogous colour scheme makes it look like the speed is so fast it’s on fire

– dark black, strong, outline of the car from the side and above 

Idris Khan, London eye 2012, bromide print on rag board

– Monochromatic black and white contrast 

– multiple layered image of the wheel where the artist has moved round to get different compositions to layer on the wheel


History of Posters



Other periods in time:
links for other poster developments through time, including:
Cubism, Photography, Swiss, American, as a Public Message.

I think my work most relates to a combination of periods in time, those including, Photographic posters onward. This is what I came up with from the many inspirations of posters through time, for going green at my college:
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The Photography Gallery, London- Exhibitions (part 2)

Only in England: Tony Ray- Jones and Martin Parr

Martin Parr has been highly influenced by the works of Tony Ray-Jones, and excited for that matter too. His work has had a great impact on him and gave him inspiration to produce his own style of work from Ray-Jones. He was devastated at the early death of Tony Ray-Jones and bought any book he could find the years they were published after the death, for example, he bought his book ‘A Day Off’ two years after Ray-Jones death when it was first published and then used it as his main inspiration for his work and for the work he created for the ‘Only In England’ gallery.

Similar to Tony Ray-Jones, Parr used Ray-Jones style of everyday chaos and the space he presented between his subjects with an elegant balance between them, as his main inspiration. However Parr further created a heightened sense of wit and melancholy with the inspiration as a background influence for his pictures and created a tonal range just like Ray-Jones had as well but bigger.

The exhibition ‘only in England’ explores the relationship between the two photographers Tony Ray-Jones ( 1941-72) and Martin Parr (b.1952) who specialize in street photography. Tony Ray-Jones worked in New York for a bit working with photographers like Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz and many others, from this he took home the street photography techniques they had and the language to then apply the formula to his own work that he acquired, and to England to apply it to a country that had never been photographed in this way before. Tony Ray-Jones wanted to apply the street photography of New York to the British seasides; as the city of New York street photography was very American just like the British seasides particularly depict the British style. The beach therefore became a significant feature of Ray-Jones work and created personal dramas that could be explored and constructed. Martin Parr was immediately inspired by his work as he recognized the new language he had applied to his work which he saw as successful.

‘A Day Off’ is a book of Tony Ray-Jones’ English photos and these were the biggest influential photographs that inspired Parr. Parr had moved to Hebden Bridge to photograph the community there over a period of five years, and they now make up the non-conformists work which accompanied the Tony Ray-Jones exhibition. Then, 10 years later after Ray-Jones death he too took to the beach as the central subject matter but in colour, using a flash.

The ‘Only in England’ exhibition is named after the typically English style photographs presented in their work; this is due to the inspiration of the New York street photography shoot Ray-Jones brought back with him to create typically English style shoots, and then Martin Parr’s inspiration to make it witty, humorous and create commercial dramas from it.

Street photography is an important profession that should be kept as time moves on. As it shows part of a heritage for an area, community, country, etc and also, specifically shows us through these imagery what it was once like or still is like and how times change as industries and modern life expands with more mass production and societies constantly changing. For example, Street photographs differ from the streets now. On the other hand, seasides have the same typically English events and objects that may not have changed at all. Another example of this is the beach huts, the towels lead out along the beach, the picnics of sandwiches and general, typical English foods, and finally cafes and amusements along the beach for tourists to enjoy and explore. This therefore infers the different periods, visually, throughout the periods in time and gives a clear suggestion of our past.

These are a few images of Tony Ray-Jones work:


I like this image as it’s a natural everyday photograph but seems humorous in the situation that’s taking place to how it would today. This is a clear suggestion of time with the many things going on within the composition. For example, the clothes they’re wearing, the open gap between where they’re sitting and the cows (as we’d probably have a fence between us now). However, in some ways it’s similar to now, as we’d still have a picnic in a field with garden tables and chairs, relaxing in the countryside.


This image in particular depicts the chaos Tony Ray-Jones would capture in the typically English seaside holidays/trips that Parr referred to:


Martin Parr’s, Non-Conformist, Photography:


An Example of Parr’s humor and wit put in with space and composition that had been inspired by Ray-Jones:


This shot is a favourite of mine, as I like the use of space Parr has captured that particularly infers the space between the subjects in the image, that likely inspired him from Tony Ray-Jones’ work. The image is in a black and white film giving good light and dark contrasts between the two halves of the image. The composition in the photograph is inspiring and makes the image seem as if it’s two totally different photographs with two different angles within the church, only when you look closely and for a period of time you realise it’s one image all together and therefore creates a very clever and unique photograph. The fact the top half is looking central and the bottom is looking to the left it creates this illusional image, and the top half is almost scattered with the people and the bottom opposite in the sense it’s more organised and a line of people- women. Parr had photographed this from the same level as the people on the top balcony with his camera portrait to then capture the bottom half, down below them.




The curator was Greg Hobson, along side guest curator Martin Parr. The exhibition guides you round, starting from the early works of Tony Ray-Jones to his later creations near his death, then with added glassed boxes on tables that show various archives of their own work. For example, notes from Tony Ray-Jones diary of where he went and others of notes with marking and correcting his photographic mistakes some of which say ‘BE MORE AGGRESSIVE‘, ‘COMPOSITION’ and  ‘DON’T TAKE BORING PHOTOS’ with some underlined, also a newspaper dating back to Tony Ray-Jones death. Then, the exhibition guides you to Parr’s non-conformist work from the start to his later works. There is also a short video showing you Martin Parr talking about Tony Ray-Jones and the inspiration Ray-Jones gave him. Parr looked through almost three thousand contact prints of Tony Ray-Jones and then picked the ones he thought most suited to the print for the exhibition.

Near the back of the gallery there is a whole wall just for around three thousand contact prints mounted on a light box so you’re able to see them, with marks made by Martin Parr, He allowed them to be shown for all to judge.

The gallery in effect is more Martin Parr’s than the work of Tony Ray-Jones. Although Tony Ray-Jones is said to be a major influence on the works of many photographers today, the gallery has big, white prints like that of Parr than the dark, tiny, vintage prints of Ray-Jones.

These are images of the gallery:


Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones, those of whom never met. Throughout this exhibition you can clearly see the influence Ray-Jones had on Parr, with images of vintage prints and new creations by Parr.

Ray-Jones took his influence from working with street photographers in New York and then took this back to England to photograph the cultural English seasides. Parr however, took this inspiration from Ray-Jones to then create a copy of his work in the modern life of today, where he spent 5 years in Hebden Bridge photographing the community and Methodist Chapels.

Parr tries to depict the English cultural decline within his own photos that show similarities to Tony Ray-Jones. For example, the back to back composition of a 1976 photograph of gamekeeper and his dog by Parr echoes the same composition in a 1968 Ray-Jones photograph of an elderly couple in Blackpool. These such photos show the evident influence Ray-Jones had on Parr and therefore there is no better person to help curate the gallery than Parr who makes a temporary assessment of the importance of the work.

Subject Matter:

The exhibition shows the erasing cultural English values and events that are ever declining. Parr links his major body of work around this influence to create his non-conformist work with added humor and wit. You can see throughout the gallery the typically English aspects along the seaside that have either changed or stayed almost the same.

Technical Aspects:

The exhibition uses the film prints, notes and diaries of Tony Ray-Jones, alongside Parr’s body of work influenced by his in black and white film prints. You can see many of the negatives from Parr’s work and but most of the gallery is formed by the film prints by both photographers.


The exhibition is very inspiring to see. The influence from the American street photographers that Tony Ray-Jones took back with him had a great effect on Parr and many other artist, and to be able to witness the similarities and links between the change in British seasides is influential. The exhibition showed a great body of work from both artists and had many notes across the walls and tables that gave a clear example between the photographers and what each place and print meant and showed through the imagery. The wit and humor Parr created has inspired me to create and look more carefully into what is happening in the moment to then create my own humorous prints. I like the use of space Tony Ray-Jones used and the contrast between each subject and how he noted what went wrong and what he could improve on after each shoot. Capturing the cultural aspects of everyday life is also inspiring in itself and to therefore go and create this myself with my own work would not only give me great practice in working like these photographers but further being able to go back and see a cultural change over time which is ever so important to record. Given that Parr had created some prints by Tony Ray-Jones to put up I think I would curate a smaller and more vintage looking print that fitted Ray-Jones’ style. Overall, the exhibition was an inspiring event that I would persuade others to go and see.

The Photography Gallery, London. – Exhibitions

Jaques Henri Lartique: Bibi 

The images are part of a family album style theme, a set of images that show the life of his through his eyes through the 1920s. The images contain parts of his marriage with Bibi between 1918-30 (Madeleine Messager – first wife and mother of his only son, Dany), before and a limited few after her also; this was a distinctive and important part of his life and his photographic work. He wrote a diary along side this that went up as short quotes that were, most meaningful, along the gallery walls, above paintings around that same period of time.  

“And now it is up to you, modest photographs, to do what you can – very little, I know- to tell everything, make everything be imagined. Everything, even and above all what can not be photographed.”

Lartique was an amateur photographer of precocious talent in 1963, which he was already 69 years old. At 69 he had already build a reputation – mostly in the USA – and these first set of photographs focused on the Belle Epoque

Lartique and Bibi were an elegant and social couple and took part in the effervescene of the 1920s, this consisted of soirees, trips to deauville, the Basque coast and the cote d’Azur. He often described her for her serene strength by his use of the panoramic format and bibi provided an anchor for her husband’s anxious sensibilities. 


He become a professional painter, as he was unsure of himself, but this became a struggle in maintaining their standard of living and therefore gave in to this period’s feverish seductions and was dumbfounded and deeply hurt when Bibi eventually left him in 1930. 

Lartique (1894) was given his first camera at the age of eight by his father, who was Lartique’s main influence and encouragement for his work as he also was fond of photography, and from then on Lartique documented every aspect of his life and kept a journal alongside to help him remember details of events and express his thoughts and feelings. His father and Lartique did a lot of sports together and spent their days playing tennis. 



They also had a boat house where they spent their leisure time enjoying the sun and having a laugh together. 



After the birth of Dani, their son, Lartique wrote in his journal that Bibi wasn’t beautiful now that she has had a kid and needed to take exercise classes; these images below show her doing some exercise classes and the others are of Dani and other family gatherings. 



These are other various images he took to document his life.




This shows the blank, emptiness of their relationship towards the end of their relationship and the start of the relationship between Bibi and Yvonne. 



This was an image of Bibi in their car. 


This was the last photo in the series of family style images and shows his sadness to the separation of him and his wife Bibi. 


The images were all given to the gallery by a family friend and knew it was important to him they were shown. The images were all laid out around the room in date order from the start of Lartique and Bibi’s romance until the end. When I take photographs of my family I tend to take shots in the moment and try and capture quick natural shots, along with various posed group photos also to capture the memory in time. After i take my images I try and store them all as a backup file on the computer or on the walls of the house or even printed in scrapbooks for birthdays, Christmas or any other relevant event. Also, I upload them to social networking sites so they can be viewed by the people in it or other members of the public, this is a good way to get your work across. I used each method appropriately for what they’re designed for, for example, a back up file so I can reuse the images like Lartique had done with his film contact sheets. 

Piet Mondrain, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43 – colour scheme

Piet Mondrain – Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43


This piece is a combination of multicoloured grid lines using a primary colour palette. His palette went from solid black lines to bright, multi-coloured, vibrant hues creating a new feeling to his work. Although some of his work isn’t entirely representable, this one you can see the grid of the Manhattan city streets and you can feel the beat of the boogie woogie music of Manhatten which Mondrain was so fond of and this is why he called it broadway boogie woogie. 

Mark Rothko, White Center (yellow, Pink and lavender on Rose), 1950. – colour scheme

Mark Rothko – White Center (yellow, Pink and lavender on Rose), 1950.


This is an abstract painting with Rothko’s style using multiform, with several blocks of layered, complimentary colour. The top half are analogous colours of yellow/orange, orange and orange/red mixed with a complimentary bottom with yellow and pink, then with a black strip across the middle. The piece top to bottom is a yellow horizontal rectangle with the black horizontal strip, then the narrow white rectangular band white mixes in both colour schemes and a lavender bottom half. The top half of the rose ground is deeper in colour and the bottom half is paler adding value. Overall the artist used a variety of colour schemes mixed into one painting that creates a warm, bright and even happy feel to the viewer mixing between the complimentary, analogous with the primary and tertiary colours.