PAS

by MAT

Original Text: PAS


In the Cubism era, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque used text in their art as an active pictorial element. Picasso’s Woman with Guitar (1911) and Braque’s Guitar (1910 – 1911) are two paintings which explored this technique. The text used in the paintings (and later in the papier collés) not only served as ornamental values but also as conceptual values. By reading letters, words written, and knowing the title of the paintings and papier collés, meanings are suggested. The words relate to the subject of the pictures. And so they create meanings and ideas.

In Braque’s painting – Guitar – the letters J, O, N, A, and L are placed quite close to each other. Despite the U an R not being present, the letters lead us to the conclusion of the word ‘journal’. The word ‘journal’ in French means newspaper. This leads to the assumption the Braque might have placed the guitar with the newspaper together to show his pastime.

Picasso’s Woman with Guitar has a similar case. The painting contains the words ‘ma jolie’. This is an exact reference to his lover Marcelle Humbert. Observing the painting, the central triangular mass shows the shape of a woman’s head and torso. A group of six vertical lines at the painting’s lower center suggests the strings of a guitar. These points lead to the idea that Picasso might have based Woman with Guitar with Marcelle.

The text serves as an additional guide to reading the painting. If Homage to Bach (1912) by Braque didn’t have the word ‘Bach’ on it, it would be harder to decipher the painting since it is vague in appearance.

Picasso and Braque painted the letters flatly and through this, they enhanced the aesthetics of the Cubism movement. The texts are flat, not in spaces, and thus by contrast, their presence in the picture made it possible to distinguish between objects situated in space and those which were not. Braque’s explanation could be seen clearly on his painting Le Portugais (the Emigrant). The letters were such a contrast with the ‘solid’ objects in the background that it plays with the perception of two- and three-dimensional space.

To achieve the effect of perspective in the papier collés, Braque and Picasso pasted parts of newspaper onto the painting. The newspaper contributes the same effect as those in the Cubist paintings due to its flat quality. It is apparent that these two artists were trying to establish reality through their art works. Instead of using only images or only texts, Picasso and Braque combined both. The impact of the combination is that their ideas are expressed boldly.

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Revised Text:

In the Cubist era, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque used text in their art as an active pictorial element. Picasso’s "Woman With Guitar" (1911) and Braque’s "Guitar" (1910 – 1911) are two paintings which explored this technique. The text used in the paintings (and later in the papier collés) not only served as ornamental values but also as conceptual values. By reading letters, words written, and knowing the titles of the paintings and papier collés, meanings are suggested. The words relate to the subjects of the pictures, and so they create meanings and ideas.

In Braque’s painting "Guitar", the letters J, O, N, A, and L are placed quite close to each other. Despite the U an R not being present, the letters lead us to the conclusion of the word ‘journal’. The word ‘journal’ in French means newspaper. This leads to the assumption the Braque might have placed the guitar together with the newspaper to show his pastime.

Picasso’s "Woman With Guitar" has a similar case. The painting contains the words ‘ma jolie’. This is an exact reference to his lover Marcelle Humbert. Observing the painting, the central triangular mass shows the shape of a woman’s head and torso. A group of six vertical lines at the painting’s lower center suggests the strings of a guitar. These points lead to the idea that Picasso might have based "Woman With Guitar" on Marcelle.

The text serves as an additional guide to reading the painting. If "Homage to Bach" (1912) by Braque didn’t have the word ‘Bach’ on it, it would be harder to decipher the painting since it is vague in appearance.

Picasso and Braque painted the letters flatly, and through this they enhanced the aesthetics of the Cubist movement. The texts are flat, not in space, and thus by contrast their presence in the picture made it possible to distinguish between objects situated in space and those which were not. Braque’s explanation could be seen clearly in his painting "Le Portugais" (the Emigrant). The letters were such a contrast to the ‘solid’ objects in the background that it plays with the perception of two- and three-dimensional space.

To achieve the effect of perspective in the papier collés, Braque and Picasso pasted parts of newspapers onto the paintings. The newspaper contributes the same effect as those in the Cubist paintings due to its flat quality. It is apparent that these two artists were trying to establish reality through their artworks. Instead of using only images or only texts, Picasso and Braque combined both. The impact of the combination is that their ideas are expressed boldly.

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