At Phillips Collection, cool off with Cubism

(Courtesy The Phillips Collection/ ) - Georges Braque’s “Pewter Pot and Plate of Fruit.”

(Courtesy The Phillips Collection/ ) - Georges Braque’s “Pewter Pot and Plate of Fruit.”

the gate

Besides escaping the Dupont Circle heat, the Phillips Collection offers a summer transport to a different time and place. The exhibition “Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928–1945” is loaded with fascinating details about the French Cubist master and his experience as an artist in the years that escalated into World War II. Braque, who along with Pablo Picasso pioneered the pictorial language of Cubism, once said, “It is not enough to make people see the object you paint. You must also make them touch it.”

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2 Years before Braque returned to painting after recovering from cranial surgery, an injury he sustained in the Battle of Carency in 1915. Braque was assigned to the French 224th Infantry and was given the rank of sergeant. He began to paint again during summer 1917.
8 Age at which Braque began painting in his father’s house-painting business. Braque was a house painter and trained decoration painter before he became an artist.
11 Braque paintings bought by museum founder Duncan Phillips, who favored the work of Braque over Picasso. Today there are 15 works by Braque in the Phillips Collection (12 paintings and three works on paper).
24 Number of paintings in the exhibition that feature the motif of the napkin ring. Only one, however, “The Napkin Ring,” features it as an independent object.
25 Times greater than its original size the 1944 painting “Pewter Pot and Plate With Fruit” (above) was magnified by conservators they could examine Braque’s use of pigment.
10,000 Dollars paid by Phillips in 1931 for Braque’s “Lemon and Napkin Ring,” which he had to pay off in three installments.
1939 Year the Phillips Collection, the Arts Club of Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented a first retrospective of Braque’s work, and helped introduce his work to U.S. audiences.

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