Acadia Senior College

Course offerings

The Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque

Mollie McNickle (Wheeler)

Harbor House, 329 Main Street, Southwest Harbor
Picasso and Braque did not intend their paintings of 1907-1914 to be incomprehensible. They were meant as daring experiments – some less successful than others – which the two young artists hoped would lead them to modern, flexible, and individualized replacements for what they perceived as the tired conventions of the 500-year-old Western pictorial tradition. This course will examine the gradual invention by Picasso and Braque of the revolutionary mode of artistic expression that became known as Cubism. We will consider the art historical impasse that drove them to revolution and then trace the protracted process of trial and error by which they eventually achieved a completely new formal language. This survey will provide students with sufficient knowledge of the novel vocabulary and syntax of Cubism to be able to “read” even the most abstruse Cubist compositions.
About the instructor

Mollie McNickle (Wheeler) holds a PhD in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. Specializing in modern art in western Europe and America, she taught courses ranging from "Romanticism" to "Abstract Expressionism" at the University of Pennsylvania and St. Joseph's University (Philadelphia). She also lectured at the Toledo Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Barnes Foundation. She has recently revived a long-term project rethinking our approach to the paintings of Paul Cezanne, which she will present in this class as a work in progress. She taught an ASC course on Cezanne in the fall of 2018.

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