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. 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...
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