History of Pablo Picasso's Collage Art

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Artist Pablo Picasso was the father of many art movements including perhaps his most famous, Cubism. During his Cubist stage, he and fellow artist, Georges Braque created the collage as a natural extension of Cubism. Picasso created collage works from 1907 to 1914.

Background

  • According to art critic Clement Greenberg, Picasso's collage works developed as a natural extension to his Cubist works. Both Picasso and fellow artist, Georges Braque, began working on collages about the same time, but Greenberg says that it's difficult to say who actually invented collage as it is now known.

Process

  • Collage is the process of pasting bits of newspapers, ribbons and other objects onto paper or canvas. It has existed in some form for several hundred years, but the term "collage" was coined by Picasso and Braque.

Speculation

  • Picasso created collages from 1907 to 1914. Although collage is attributed as an extension of sorts to the artist's works done in Cubist style, neither Picasso nor Braque ever indicated what motivated them to begin pasting bits of newspaper and other found objects onto their canvases.

Goal

  • Picasso wanted to expand the two-dimensional picture plane, and sought to change it. Greenberg wrote, "But at first they [Picasso and Braque] were more crucially concerned, in and through their Cubism, with obtaining sculptural results by strictly nonsculptural means."

Evolution

  • Collage developed along with Cubism. In 1912, Picasso created three-dimensional "collages." Although these collages featured found objects pasted onto the canvas as did the earlier ones, these objects became sculptures on the canvas. This was a departure from the original goal of Cubism. Picasso's first creation in this vein was a guitar.

The End

  • From 1912 to 1914, Synthetic Cubist (collage) works emerged from Picasso's canvases. During this time, the artists toyed with the traditional flat picture plane, incorporating both two- and three-dimensional elements, but after 1914 neither Picasso nor Braque worked in collage again.

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