Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Cubicular camouflage | the blossoming of crazy quilts

Above Still image from a Pathé film titled Rigadin Cubist Painter (1912).


Caught the Cubist Fashion in Baltimore Sun (Baltimore MD), June 22, 1918—

The camoufleur is having engagements at this port changing the appearance of the local fleet of steamers that enter the war zone declared by the U-boats on this coast. One arrived yesterday from the south so completely disguised by the cubist artist as not to be recognized by agents of her line. Others belonging here are being camouflaged.


Anon in Sioux City Journal (Sioux City IA), August 29, 1921—

Little is seen or heard nowadays about the writers of vers libre ["free verse"] or the cubist artists. Maybe they have gone where they belong—to Camouflage.


PARIS PUTS ARTISTS IN ARMY TO CAMOUFLAGE TRUCKS, TANKS, CANNON: Cubists, Surrealists and Futurists Put Fantastic Designs and Theories Into Practice in the Scranton Times-Tribune (Scranton PA), September 22, 1939—

Cubist, surrealist, modernist, futurist, realist, and naturalist painters who once cluttered Montparnasse terraces are in the army as camouflage artists.

Canvases and theories have been put aside. Long-haired, bearded, shabbily-dressed dreamers have left attics to become clean-shaven, neatly-dressed army men.

Trucks, tanks, armored cars, motorcycles, cannon and staff cars are blossoming with fantastic crazy-quilt designs done in reds, blues, greens, and ochres. Many-schooled cafe arguments have turned into a joint pooling of ideas to befuddle the enemy.


Says "Abstractionist" Painter Should Make Camouflage Experts, in Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City IA) January 8, 1942—

[Laszlo Moholy Nagy, founder and director of the New Bauhaus school in Chicago], addressing a Drake University audience [yesterday in Des Moines], explained:

"The cubist painters' angular pictures often are the most confusing thing in art to the layman and they are the most talented to turn out camouflage which will confuse the enemy."

"White outs," a system of confusing enemy planes by careful illumination and reflections, would be much more effective than black outs, he declared.