Give Me Gestalt! Preference for Cubist Artworks Revealing High Detectability of Objects

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Muth, Claudia ; Pepperell, Robert; Carbon, Claus-Christian  
Title of the Journal: Leonardo : journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology
ISSN: 0024-094X
Corporate Body: Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo\/ISAST)
Publisher Information: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press
Year of publication: 2013
Volume: 46
Issue: 5
Pages: 488-489
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1162/LEON_a_00649
In cubist paintings by Picasso, Braque and Gris it is possible to detect everyday objects like guitars, bottles or jugs, although they are often difficult to decipher. In this art-science collaborative study we found that participants without expertise in cubism appreciated cubist artworks more if they were able to detect concealed objects in them. The finding of this strong correlation between detectability and preference offers wide implications for art history and human cognition as it points to a mechanism that allows us to derive pleasure from searching for and finding meaningful patterns.
Type: Article
Year of publication: 27. September 2013