“Braque: The Late Works”

Royal Academy of Arts | Piccadilly

Sharing the prejudices of most New York art people, I had always located Braque on some remote and far too comfortable French planet, where, together with the likes of Bonnard, he went on cultivating his own beautiful gardens but could never do anything risky enough to make my pulse beat faster. For me, even his most audacious Cubist work, when seen beside Picasso’s, often looked like a genteel and redundant counterpart to his significant Spanish other’s macho drama and daring. As for what he did after the First World War, this could be quickly banished in the category of the unadventurous, all-too-pleasurable painting synonymous with the later School of Paris. I still recall how bored I was some twenty-five years ago by Douglas Cooper’s provocatively titled show “Braque: The Great Years,” at the Art Institute of Chicago. Cooper’s selection began with work from 1918, when, for me, Braque

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