Still Life with Chair Caning  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Still Life with Chair Caning[1] (Nature-morte à la chaise cannée, 1911–1912) is a work by Pablo Picasso. It is the first work of the new Synthetic Cubism style. It includes oil cloth pasted on the canvas. At the upper left are the letters "JOU", which appear in many cubist paintings and may refer to the popular Parisian daily newspaper Le Journal. Newspaper clippings were a common inclusion in this style of cubism, whereby physical pieces of newspaper, sheet music, and the like were included in the collages. At the same time, JOU may be a pun on the French words jeu (game) or jouer (to play). Picasso and Braque had a constant friendly competition with each other, and including the letters in their works may have been an extension of their game.

Whereas analytic cubism was an analysis of the subjects (pulling them apart into planes), synthetic cubism is more of a pushing of several objects together. Picasso, through this movement, was the first to use text in his artwork (to flatten the space), and the use of mixed media—using more than one type of medium in the same piece. Opposed to analytic cubism, synthetic cubism has fewer planar shifts (or schematism), and less shading, creating flatter space.

As the origin of found art

The commonly accepted origin of the found object in art Pablo Picasso's painting Still Life with Chair Caning (1912). But the provenance of his gesture clearly points to his close colleague Georges Braque, who was the first known Western artist to attach a found object (paper scraps) to an artwork, a technique that has come to be known as collage. Although there is no definitive provenance before Braque, the strong influence of African art on Picasso and Braque, and the prominent use of found nails, cowry shells, and hair in 19th century African objects would suggest that the idea of the found object in Western art has its origins in Africa. Although art historians tend to draw a distinction between collage art and found object art, conceptually there is no difference between them. Both approaches introduce existing foreign objects to works of art.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Still Life with Chair Caning" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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