Call it collage, “object trouvé”, ready-made, appropriation art, Hirst or just “but is this art?” Picasso was the material author of this turn of the wheel (and Braque his accomplice).
100 years ago Picasso and Braque positioned the collage technique as art in the avantgarde, and its resonances hear we still today named mixed-media. Collage, is much more than a technique, it is a new way to understand fragmented reality the world,
The Still-life with Chair-caning, Picasso May 1912 (Paris,. Picasso museum) is a relatively little 27 x 35 cm oval canvas, “framed” with rope, that includes approx a 20×12 cm piece of oil table-cloth glued being incorporated to the scene with contour details and being painted on top with oil with traces that might figure shadows.
Although this canvas is very well know by all art historians, There is not very much written about what is actually painted beyond the collage piece.
If you look at it carefully at the right hand side you see a glass with a lemon slice on top, at the left hand side you see what it seems to be the headlines of a news paper (Journal), and between them you see 2 figures at the distance, a waiter perhaps, in the lower half you see the oil table-cloth depicting a typical café chair canning, with an object (ashtray? a coffee cup?)
At the end, what it is, is a café scene with its objects, personages as traditional in this type of scenes, but seen altogether as a fragmented whole view, the chair and all assembled in an oval canvas that is not but the coffee tray .