R is for reason and poor old reality. Once in fashion, but now obsolete.
September 12, 2021 12:11 PM   Subscribe

The Public Domain Review introduces the 1913 parody children's book railing against modern art, The Cubies' ABC. (Including full text scans from the Internet Archive.)
posted by eotvos (12 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
That is hilarious! Loved it!

I either got most of the references or could deduce them from context, but what is the significance of the letter J’s Jam Jar?
posted by ejs at 1:03 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]

Great stuff. These Cubies (although mere tetrahedra) remind me of how my brother brought his Icehouse gaming pieces to life in his Iceland comics.
posted by Rash at 1:28 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]

Re: the Jam Jar, I took it to mean something like “same soup, just reheated;” that modernism doesn’t look any better in New York than it did in Europe.
posted by ducky l'orange at 1:29 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]

As an art student, I loved the whole story of art history, from classicism through post-modernity, but I think I always wanted it to Mean More than just the churn of competing trends. In that respect, I think I was a Stand-Patter, which may help explain my lack of success as an artist.
posted by ducky l'orange at 1:46 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]

This is a joy! Thanks for posting! I don't know enough about at to get all the refs, but it's fun all the same despite the point being to Diss another style!
posted by sedimentary_deer at 1:48 PM on September 12

Yes, amazing. See also We Go To The Gallery by Miriam Elia.
Peter sees the painting.

“I could paint that,” says Peter.

“But you didn’t,” says mummy.
We Go To The Gallery is the first in a series of 'Harlequin Ladybird' books designed to make scary subjects approachable for the under 5s. Described in bold colours and clear and concise English, each book will drag families in to the darkest recesses of the collective unconscious, for their broader cultural benefit.”
posted by migurski at 1:48 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]

. . .what is the significance of the letter J’s Jam Jar?"
Now that I look up what I very vaguely thought it was about, I realize I'm clearly wrong. (It was painted five years after the book, though Gris was actively involved with some of the other named artists in 1912-1913.) I have no idea that it means, but am now very curious. Perhaps they're both making a reference to something?
posted by eotvos at 2:12 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]

This was great. Thanks for posting. My art history knowledge is spotty, so there was a lot I didn't get, but the ones I did get were fun.
posted by FencingGal at 5:23 PM on September 12

This is absolutely amazing. Modernism was terrifying to traditionalists of the time, and in less than a decade the Nazis would leverage that fear.
posted by phooky at 5:42 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]

M seemed pretty racy!
posted by inexorably_forward at 11:02 PM on September 12

I am an unabashed fan of modern art, especially cubism (I actually have a few framed Braque prints hanging up in my house). And I loved this!

To be fair, the 1913 Armory Show inspired a lot of satire regarding the new "avant-garde" cubism and futurism.
posted by paisley sheep at 10:12 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]

Was it common to depict your ideological opponents literally going to hell? Seems the kind of quaint trope we don't get enough of these days.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:55 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]

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