Essay on Cubism and African Arts

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A cross-cultural encounter is one of the hallmarks of world history with increased abilities of human to cross the cultural boundaries. The human understanding of these historical encounters is contemporarily limited. It is meant to address the facet of these meeting that frequently occurred around the globe many years ago. During these patterns of interaction, diverse perspectives of people and assumptions of recently accepted differences about people regarding several terms, just outlining a few, empire, nationhood, race, and ethnicity were adopted mutually within the different cultural tribes and were implemented. Several decades ago, back in the 1950s, a large volume of central and sub-Saharan countries of Africa were gaining independence and the only way they portrayed their newly established national supremacy was through distinct designs in parliament buildings, central banks stadiums and several universities that existed. They were implementing the bright future as they were envisioned after the independence. Throughout the history, cross-cultural encounters have taken place in diverse, distinct parts of the world. The contact interactions were either peaceful or even violent from different people of different background. It meant the social relations which brought with them movements and change through war, tourism or colonialism. The research done on cultural encounters focuses on investigations of questions which directly involve cultural translations, change and even continuity as the meaning of several terms, borders, ethnicity, hybridist, and cultural practices ware well elaborated. The addressed questions on the research are linked to identity, the establishment of different social networks and the nature of the bonders regardless of religious culture and ethnicity. More research elaborate insight into contact zones where cultural encounters were taking place and the areas where materials and abstract convergence took place. The examination of the economic and political activities that frame Britain's contact with other several cultures is the thematic plotline of discussion throughout the plot.

African Culture and Avant-Garde Arts

The abstract approach of cubism's paradox is achieving the greater sense of reality. Seurat's attempted the greater luminosity by neglecting pre-mixing colours but created a sense of uniform colours through making dots and patches of different colours. Cubism postulated that reality can never be perceived from a single point of vantage. They are connected in our brains to come up with concepts of reality, and it was developed to achieve a realistic a sense of life through abstraction. The cubism involved a four-dimensional combination of length, area, and volume as a way of passing the time. There are some excellent arts of Picasso paintings according to the internet which fosters a great thinking and decentralised design. The interconnection between the cubism and the modern design is exhibited by the integration of the past cubism to establish new designs of contemporary arts (Hassan 453). This is a gradual transitional integration where the ancient forms of arts are newly designed to achieve the modern arts.

Cubism in Western Africa Arts

The primitive African art affected the subject matter, styles and the cubist art movement. It is centrally considered as the art of abstraction which coincides with the reality but does not copy it. It merely evolved from Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1970. Their Style was adversely affected by an artist by the name Paul Cezanne whose work gradually resembled several perspectives that marked the cubism period. Mr. Paul felt that the western art had remained since the rebirth and, therefore, felt that there was a need to evoke new challenges to revitalise the methods that were set by the academy. The anarchist philosophy attracted some cubist, and therefore they arranged to recreate art that would criticise and fosters shock to the academy (Hassan 459). During this period, Paul Gauguin travelled to Tahiti where he happened to paint some natives and their habitats, a revolutionary trend which had not geographically and artistically been discovered by any other cubist. It was then developed from the perception of painting, and the opportunity that developed the 20th-century art in western Africa

The primary connection that accelerated the African arts was the trade among the Britain and Europeans countries with Africa as the pre-colonial nations developed. This was remarkable resembled the Europeans voyage of exploration in the fifteenth century. The African merchants had initiated trade links between British, Mediterranean world and Indian Ocean region. The other potential merchants from British Portugal France and Netherlands who commenced trade among the western Atlantic encountered a population that was regulated, savvy, and were ruled by experienced veterans (Hassan 470). The British power quickly established mercantile ties with these African rulers and invented factories and warehouses within the coastal region to store their commodities and prevent them from foreign encroachment. There were British merchants called lancados who settled along present-day Senegal to Angola. These people therefore acted as the middlemen between the African traders and the British merchants.

The trades involved no utilitarian goods which motivated the then African communities to get actively involved in arts in abid to produce more commodities for exchange with their trading counterparts. It, therefore, incremented native forge technologies within the sub-Saharan region where arts of producing good quality smith items was incorporated and as a result, the African cubism developed as African veteran struggled to produce copyrights of expensive goods that were supplied.

Britain Art and Architecture

British are the leading centre of creativity and reconstruction. The veteran depicts that the entire universe aspires to be in the UK. The United Kingdom possesses the most elegant iconic architecture of world class; dynamic and expensive cities with the highest property prices. Majority of the world’s finest architects are bristling to work in British, The country leads regarding designers of convention centres, world's class airports, and skyscrapers. British architects also designed Chinese and Middle East cities. There are distinct structures in British that mark the developmental history of British megastructures such as horrible palestra building lurking in southward which currently the fording home of London development agency (Hassan 472). The megastructures are not only in the London, there are other centres including the centre of Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool is great towers, but they're not recognisable because of their emptiness for the last approximately five years.

In Toronto, there are big unique plazas that have been designed uniquely from the usual designs, and therefore it remains to be the most beautiful and unique city in Britain. The building has been filled with the chlorine and squared by the security guards. The plazas have been installed with CCTV cameras and sculptural lights and signs that forbid skateboarding. All the sub-public spaces are surrounded by contemporary architectures which has resulted in modernisation.

African Architecture

Like the other aspects of culture, Africa has his architectural traditions. There are broader styles that can be identified in Africa such as the Sahelian architecture which is entitled to some parts of West Africa. One of the common traditional architecture is the use of fractal scaling where small parts of the design structure tend to appear common to enormous parts. The common one is the circular village houses made in the past (Lazarus 133). African architecture has been adversely affected by some external influence from the veterans who earliest visited African continent. The western architecture has significantly influenced the coastal architecture which is now the crucial cite with dimensional buildings. African architecture is unique in its ways. It made use a variety of materials such as the sticks of mud bricks and mud with stones to build houses.

The pyramids of Egypt remains world's greatest African early architecture, it originated from the funerary context. Temple buildings in Egypt mark the earliest architectural designs that were implemented in Africa. Based on the importance and the dexterity adopted in the design and implementation of this work of architecture, it still being studied by various scholars all over the globe. There is a need mention also that pyramids of Egypt still retains its position as part of part of the Seven Wonders of the World. Some other architectures in Africa involve the monolith cross river which resembles geometrics of human design. In northern Africa, there were unique tombs that were left by the Berbers that were pre Christians in origin and the architectural design that was applied resembled West Africa (Lazarus 141). The other significant architecture in Africa is the Moroccan mud buildings which had some Islamization designs by the Idris dynasty who was an alien from Spain and France who occupied Morocco.

Modernization of African Arts

The continent is undergoing clutches of the modern world civilisation and technology influences. Disparities in lifestyles within a gap anciently used to be normality. The African culture as it is known worldwide as a result of media invention in several sections of Africa society, modernisation is significantly wiping out the vibrant sections of the colourful ancient cultural art and lifestyle. Due to the continued globalisation of the African continent, there is the traditional arts have significantly reduced, and most of the religious and cultural activities are slowly being translated into commercial forms and obsolete (Lazarus 155). For survival in the modern society, most of the traditionalist are dropping their cultural societal arts and adopting new modern means of commerce.

Some significant individuals have contributed or rather have influenced the African modernisation of arts. The current modernisation was introduced by a German sociologist Max Weber presenting the idea of irrationality and rationality in the transition from traditional to the modern paradigm. The translation of Weber's ideas was done by Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons who used English to give his interpretations (Lazarus 142). They encouraged the integration of economic, political and social culture which spread modernisation across the borders. They also insisted continuous growth of global trade after the Europeans discovered new continents in the early modern period.

Characteristics of Modernism

It can be defined as the architectural movement that is targeted to accelerate industrialisation changes that occur socially. It involves general utilisation of the advanced technology and out regards the old traditional and historical styles with the inclusion of ornamentation. It dearly gives more emphasis on simplicity and rationality which improves new forms of aesthetic. There are considerable realistic geometric shapes that have resulted from the aesthetic, pure cubic forms flat roofs which have been considered decent in all the nations and have been adopted by all the cultures to transform the architecture design. Glass fibre reinforced concrete is a product of glass fibre which is used in the exterior building panels. The best elaboration of the fat roofing is the roofs that assume the shape of the overlapping scales of the fish that is designed to shed water (Kosmitzki 238). A broader definition of the truth to the material can be argued to be the modern form of architecture that states that materials should be utilised where they are fitter, and their nature should not be hidden.

Space of a building is the most common parameter that all architects need to confirm before they design a building. Considerations which are given more emphasis include the nature of exiting and entry while keeping the height of the ceiling to be the most common parameters that need to be carefully is considered. After the prospective installation, the area that remains is what can be summed as the space of a building (Kosmitzki 240). The best description of the social values in architecture is the conscious design that favours a specific range of social behaviours which propelling towards set goals. They may include the social systems or the digital systems which influence the environment of social architecture.

Muse 'de colonies

African exhibition marks the colonial architectural styles which have been adopted from a mother country and have been implemented in the construction of colonies in diverse locations. There are colonies which are built in different areas using specific architectural designs which in turn remark their original country of origin.

Le Corbusier Blanche

It introduces the white house where classical columns and rose garden come to mind. There is currently building Le Corbusier the project that was developed by Swaziland architect, Charles-Edouard Jeanne rest known as the Le Corbusier who adopted the name early in the 1920s (Kosmitzki 239). Back in 1912, the residence was built in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He was then commissioned by the parents of the architect, and it was used as the family home, basedon the importance of the building to of world of arts and architecture, it was renovated back in 2005, and it is currently utilised as the museum.

French colony

It involved the overseas colonies and mandate territories that came under the French rule from the 16th century. The difference is basically as a result of the first French empire and the second French empire. The first empire lasted until 1841 when most of it had been lost. The second colonial empire was marked by the conquest of Algiers back in 1830. It lasted until there was the emergence of bitter wars of Vietnam and Algeria. The establishment of colonies by the French started in North America regions (Hassan 455). The continuous war between with Great Britain and some European powers back in the 18th century made France lose all its conquest which then began to build colonies in Africa and some parts of Indochina. French colony stabilised when there was a general adoption of French culture and Christianity.

French colony 1930s

During the 19th century, the French and British colonies played key roles; however, the French colony was next to British. It extended over 12 million kilometres of land which had more than ten million inhabitants. They gradually started their colonies in North America the other powers followed in succession. As a result of a huge accumulation of colonial possession, the country started wars with Great Britain, however, they were unsuccessful in their quest for dominance, hence their colonial ambitions ended in this region and Britain took over (Kosmitzki 247). France then started colonies in Africa and some parts of South East Asia. France then maximised in ruling the African countries because France had been conquered in other territories by the other powers.


Cross-cultural encounters provided an excellent opportunity for exchange of architectural designs and general adoption of specific advantageous traits of political and economic activities that resulted in trading between the British veterans and African rulers. As a result, the African traditional architectural designs were rejected, and the majority of the African rulers adopted the recent technological devolution that was offered in exchange. During these patterns of interaction, diverse perspectives of people and assumptions of recent accepted differences about people in terms of several terms, just outlining a few, empire, nationhood, race and ethnicity where adopted mutually within the different cultural tribes and were implemented, Due to continuous globalization of the African continent, some of the continent’s unique art features have significantly reduced, and most of the religious and cultural activities are slowly being translated into commercial forms. As a result, the traditional African cultural architecture was diminished, and integration with the implementation of the newly adopted culture was put in place.

Works Cited

Hassan, Salah M. "African modernism: beyond alternative modernities discourse." South Atlantic Quarterly (2010): 451-473.

Kosmitzki, Corinne. "The reaffirmation of cultural identity in cross-cultural encounters." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (1996): 238-248.

Lazarus, Neil. "Modernism and Modernity: TW Adorno and Contemporary White South African Literature." Cultural Critique (2012): 131-155.

August 01, 2023


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