View from a hotel inspired noted cubist

Albert Gleizes’ Maison Du Governor. *Photo courtesy of Masterworks
Albert Gleizes’ Maison Du Governor. *Photo courtesy of Masterworks

Albert Gleizes was one of the early French cubists whose writings on the topic are prolific. In fact, he and Jean Metzinger wrote an extended volume on the theories of cubism, which is still in print today, as Tom Butterfield reports for Bermuda’s Sun.

Although not as well known as his contemporaries Picasso and Braque, his work was nonetheless prized by Peggy Guggenheim and his work was the centre of her magnificent collection in Venice, a museum today open to the public. Gleizes travelled to New York in 1917 after mustering out of the French Army and marrying Juliette Roche.

On reaching New York he found two of his artist colleagues, Marsden Hartley and Charles Demuth were enjoying a sojourn to Bermuda so he and Juliette decided to follow them for a belated honeymoon. Thus, Marsden Hartley and Charles Demuth became part of the ‘big conversation’ with Gleizes on the subject of modern art, cubism and the island.

Hartley painted some of the most important paintings by an American in the last century, notably Movement, Bermuda which was considered one of the first works known as synthetic cubism. Charles Demuth painted delicate Modernist works of Bermuda architecture influenced by Gleizes and his Cubist theories.

Inspired by one of his favorite muses Maison du Governor (Government House), Gleizes treated and retreated the subject about ten times. He obviously liked the view. Done from the Hamilton Hotel, which sat on the site of City Hall and the Car Park at the head of Queen Street. Gleizes looked north and noticed towers lining up in a natural cubist effect and back in Paris did a large oil of this subject. We are fortunate to have a body of these rare works. This is what makes our collection unique.

Tom Butterfield is founder and director of Masterworks. tbmworks@logic.bm

For the original report go to http://www.bermudasun.bm/Content/LIFESTYLE/Lifestyle/Article/View-from-a-hotel–inspired-noted-cubist/9/230/70489

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