Georges Braque began experimenting with geometric forms and multiple perspectives in 1908. He is credited with co-inventing (along with Pablo Picasso) a new artistic style known as Cubism. To unify his imagery within a grid-like framework, Braque used a monochromatic palette and flattened the pictorial space through the use of words and, later, collage (or papier collé). This large-scale print displays his radical breakup of forms, which offer only a hint at the actual objects depicted, including a bottle of Bass ale in the upper right corner. The parallel “vibrating” lines near the center of the composition and other shapes also suggest a pun on the bass instrument. The emphasis is on the shapes, lines, and overlapping planes. The overall effect is a layering of sensory experience across time and space occurring within the confines of a modern café.
1911 (published 1950)
Etching and drypoint on paper
Image/plate: 18 x 13 in. (45.7 x 33.0 cm); sheet: 25 7/8 x 19 3/4 in. (65.7 x 50.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, 74.5
Large image not available.