Still Anarchic, ‘Les Demoiselles’ Turns 100

Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” is a century old. “It’s not just 100 years in the life of a painting, but 100 years of modernism. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is the rift, the break that divides past and future. Culturally, the 20th century began in 1907. Consider the dates of other works of high modernism. In music, Schoenberg’s Erwartung was composed in 1909 and Stravinsky began The Rite of Spring in 1910. James Joyce didn’t get started on Ulysses until 1914, by which time Picasso was into the final stages of cubism.”