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Cubism and the Fourth Dimension

Ambrosio, C; (2016) Cubism and the Fourth Dimension. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 41 (2-3) pp. 202-221. 10.1080/03080188.2016.1223586. Green open access

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Abstract

This article revisits the historiography of Cubism and mathematics, with a particular focus on Pablo Picasso's uses of geometry at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. In particular, I consider the artistic appropriation of the concept of the fourth dimension, and its pictorial uses as a conduit for a conceptual reformulation of pictorial space. I investigate Picasso's distinctive adoption of this geometric framework in relation to one of his 1909 experiments across painting and photography, and advocate the possibility of drawing novel historiographical lessons from Picasso's work — lessons that bring the historiography of Cubism in a closer dialogue with recent debates in the historiography of science. I conclude with an appeal to consider the continued relevance of this past experiment in art and science when assessing the contemporary drive toward art-science collaborations, and use the case of Cubism and the fourth dimension as a springboard for a critical reflection on the future directions of art-science collaborations.

Type: Article
Title: Cubism and the Fourth Dimension
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03080188.2016.1223586
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2016.1223586
Language: English
Additional information: © Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2016. Published by Taylor & Francis on behalf of the Institute. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews on 29 November 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03080188.2016.1223586
Keywords: Cubism, fourth dimension, art and science, interdisciplinarity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1514497
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