Modern Art ARTH 2210

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Modern Art ARTH 2210

Homework assignment – Critical thinking

E-mail papers not accepted. Late papers may be downgraded.

Read the Chave article online. Answer each question with a minimum of 2-4 sentences.

Anna C. Chave, “New Encounters with Les Demoiselles d’Avignon:  Gender, Race, and the Origins of Cubism”, The Art Bulletin, Vol. 76, No. 4 (Dec. 1994), pp. 596-611


1. How does Chave describe the content/narrative of the painting in literal, minimalist terms?


2. The author’s objective in the article is to explore the painting from, as it were, unconventional perspectives.  What unanticipated viewer does she have in mind?


3. What metaphor or image is most prominent as the women in the painting present themselves on offer?


4. According to Chave, what is the prototypical male response to the picture and its nude demoiselles?


5. In what terms does the author describe the pictorial space in the context of the evolution of modern art?


6. How does Chave handle the relation of the more European-looking figures to two figures in African inspired masks?


7. What are the conventional, typical hallmarks of prostitutes in Western culture, according to Chave?


8. How does Picasso change his style from the flagrant, raw nudity, “barbaric” impulses and conspicuous African elements of Les Demoiselles?


9. What makes Chave lean toward reading Les Demoiselles as a giant cartoon?  What does she see as comical in the images and especially in its narrative?


10. Why does the author call Les Demoiselles “the most apotropaic of all modern images”?


11. Critical thinking.  Summarize the author’s argument/theme concisely and evaluate its success.



Modern Art ARTH 2210


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