Early Cubism

There was a distinct difference between Kahnweiler’s Cubists and the Salon Cubists. Prior to 1914, Picasso, Braque, Gris and Leger (to a lesser extent) gained the support of a single committed art dealer in Paris, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who guaranteed them an annual income for the exclusive right to buy their works. Kahnweiler sold only to a small circle of connoisseurs. His support gave his artists the freedom to experiment in relative privacy. Picasso worked in Montmartre until 1912, while Braque and Gris remained there until after the First World War. Leger was based in Montparnasse.[2] In contrast, the Salon Cubists built their reputation primarily by exhibiting regularly at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Independants, both major non-academic Salons in Paris. They were inevitably more aware of public response and the need to communicate.[2] Already in 1910 a group began to form which included Metzinger, Gleizes, Delaunay and Leger. They met regularly at Henri le Fauconnier's studio near the Boulevard de Montparnasse. These soirees often included writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire and Andre Salmon. Together with other young artists, the group wanted to emphasise a research into form, in opposition to the Neo-Impressionist emphasis on color.[15] Louis Vauxcelles, in his review of the 26th Salon des Independant (1910), made a passing and imprecise reference to Metzinger, Gleizes, Delaunay, Leger and Le Fauconnier as "ignorant geometers, reducing the human body, the site, to pallid cubes."[9] At the 1910 Salon d'Automne, a few months later, Metzinger exhibited his highly fractured Nu a la cheminee (Nude), which was subsequently reproduced in Les Peintres Cubistes by Apollinaire (1913). The first public controversy generated by Cubism resulted from Salon showings at the Independants during the spring of 1911. This showing by Metzinger, Gleizes, Delaunay, le Fauconnier and Leger brought Cubism to the attention of the general public for the first time. Amongst the Cubist works presented, Robert Delaunay exhibited his Eiffel Tower, Tour Eiffel (Solom n R. Guggenheim Museum, New York).[16] At the Salon d'Automne of the same year, in addition to the Independants group of Salle 41, were exhibited works by Andre Lhote, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Villon, Roger de La Fresnaye, Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac and Frantisek Kupka. The subsequent 1912 Salon des Independants was marked by the presentation of Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, which itself caused a scandal, even amongst the Cubists. It was in fact rejected by the hanging committee, which included his brothers and other Cubists. Although the work was shown in the Salon de la Section d'Or in October 1912 and the 1913 Armory Show in New York, Duchamp never forgave his brothers and former colleagues for censoring his work.[15][17] Juan Gris, a new addition to the Salon scene, exhibited his Portrait of Picasso (Art Institute of Chicago), while Metzinger's two showings included La Femme au Cheval (The Rider, Woman with a horse) 1911-1912 (Statens Museum for Kunst, National Gallery of Denmark).[18] Delaunay's monumental La Ville de Paris (Musee d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris) and Leger's La Noce, The Wedding (Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris) were also exhibited. The Cubist contribution to the 1912 Salon d'Automne created a controversy in the Municipal Council of Paris, leading to a debate in the Chambre des Deputes about the use of public funds to provide the venue for such art. The Cubists were defended by the Socialist deputy, Marcel Sembat.[19][20] It was against this background of public anger that Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes wrote Du "Cubisme" (published by Eugene Figuiere in 1912, translated to English and Russian in 1913).[21] Among the works exhibited were Le Fauconnier's vast composition Les Montagnards attaques par des ours (Mountaineers Attacked by Bears) now at Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Joseph Csaky's Deux Femme, Two Women (a sculpture now lost), in addition to the highly abstract paintings by Kupka, Amorpha (The National Gallery, Prague), and Picabia, La Source, The Spring (Museum of Modern Art, New York).