Georges Braque, French, Still Life, 1918, Oil on canvas; 46.4 x 72.1 cm (18 5/16 x 28 3/8 inches), Mary B. Jackson Fund 48.248
Georges Braque’s mature style evolved following a collaborative relationship with Picasso in which both artists explored the representation of objects through flat, geometric shapes. In this example of later “Synthetic” Cubism, Braque recombined familiar motifs from his still life vocabulary, including a plate of fruit, a textile fragment, a folded newspaper, and a shifting table top. He superimposed these elements on a diamond-shaped field pierced with shaded openings that reveal a dark background beyond. The composition intentionally resembles his work in collage in which scraps of paper and fabric were glued to the canvas then painted or left untouched. Here he plays with the decorative pattern of red dots on a green cloth by extending it onto the rim of the platter. Through a subtle subversion of spatial relationships he rejects comparison with classic still life compositions and reinforces the effect of abstraction.