The style of painting known as Cubism is the brainchild of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques, both avant garde painters in Paris of the early twentieth century. They worked together, beginning in 1908, to develop a new method of analyzing, breaking down and reassembling as subject in abstract form. In Cubism there is no sense of depth, space is shallow and ambiguous and the really energy of the work is the multiple viewpoints of the subject.
The Cubist method evolved through two distinct phases, the "Analytic" and the "Synthetic", both perpetuated by Picasso and Braques, with painter Juan Gris picking it up after 1909. The Analytic period was shorter than the Synthetic, and began when Picasso and Braques viewed the work of Paul Cezanne, who viewed nature as a composition of cubes, cylinders and spheres. The two took the concept and applied it to their subjects, relying on monochromatic palettes and reduced their subject into a basic geometry. Later, they removed the disassembly of the subject into geometric shapes, and employed mixed media (such as collage) to completely flatten the image.
Their concepts were immediately popular in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris, where both artists lived, and it was soon categorized as a "school" of its own. Eventually Cubism would have many painters affiliated with the style, including Marcel Duchampe, Guillaume Apollinaire, Diego Rivera and Patrick Henry Bruce, among many others.
By 1913 Cubism made its way to the United States via the historic Armory Show of that year. Designed to introduce the American art world to the European modern art it was a tremendous success and provided many artists with a new and enthusiastic audience.