Cubism is the fragmenting of three-dimensional forms into areas of pattern and color, overlapping and intertwining so that shapes and parts of the human anatomy are seen from the front and back at the same time. Cubism was first introduced to the world in 1907 by Picasso and Braque. Its introduction, into the art world, changed the viewer’s visual representation. This was clearly evident with Picasso’s painting, Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon (1907). Many found this painting very disturbing and ugly, but the painting was groundbreaking in the history of modern art.
This painting contributes to a general impression of disorientation in space. However, the painting Portrait of Olga in an Armchair (1917) may or may not be typical of Picasso’s cubism work. Cubism has been divided into two phases, the first phase being abstract cubism. Abstract cubism limited the artist’s use of color; most pallets were restricted or dominated to mostly grays and browns with strong, harsh coloring. The artist felt that the use of color interfered with the viewer’s perception of the form.Order now
This is somewhat evident in Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon but not in Portrait of Olga in an Armchair. The second phase is synthetic or “collage” cubism. This type of cubism used more decorative shapes, stenciling, and bright colors. Also, during this phase Picasso started using cut-up newspaper in his paintings. It is clearly evident that the Portrait of Olga in an Armchair uses beautiful colors that are cool and serene, but does not suggest a cubist painting. Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon and Portrait of Olga in an Armchair seem to be two vastly different styles of art.
The Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon portrays five nudes grouped around a still life. The three nudes on the left are severe distortions of classical figures, and the other two nudes have violently dislocated features and bodies. The colors used by Picasso are strong and harsh, but the three middle nude’s bodies are more or less monochromatic. “Each individual figure is united by a general geometrical principle which superimposes its own laws on to the natural proportions, and they merge almost completely with the background, which is full of similar rugged cleavages.
There are no distinctions of light and darkness that might lend shape to the women’s bodies, and together with the combination of several perspectives, this contributes to a general impression of disorientation in space. ” (http://geocites. com) The Portrait of Olga in an Armchair is a portrait of Picasso’s wife, sitting somberly in an armchair. The background is monochromatic, but what is seen of the armchair is painted with vivid yet somewhat muted colors. The colors are neither sharp nor harsh. Her figure is not distorted with odd geometrical shapes, they are more realistic.
However, part of the armchair from which she is sitting is not finished, part is still missing, therefore the painting itself was never finished. The color scheme in this painting is partial to Picasso’s cubism work, but I do not feel that it could be called a cubist painting, for the simple fact; Picasso was not consistent with a typical style, it was ever-changing. In my opinion, I feel that this painting is a combination of Picasso’s different styles, ranging from the Rose Period up to the Cubism period.
Picasso stated, When I paint a bowl, I want to show you that it is round, of course. But the general rhythm of the picture, its composition framework, may compel me to show the round shape as a square. When you come to think of it, I am probably a painter without style. ?”Style’ is often something that ties the artist down and makes him look at things in one particular way, the same technique, the same formulas, year after year, sometimes for a whole lifetime. You recognize him immediately, but he is always in the same suit, or a suit of the same cut.
There are, of course, great painters who have a certain style. However, I always thrash about rather wildly. I am a bit of a tramp. You can see me at this moment, but I have already changed, I am already somewhere else. I can never be tied down, and that is why I have no style. ” Also, the Portrait of Olga in an Armchair was painted during World War I. During this time, Picasso’s artwork changed. His forms were more realistic, human, and serious. Therefore, I do not believe this painting takes on any cubist qualities or ideals, but a more traditional style.