As a painter, I have been intrigued by the relationship of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, one of the greatest friendships of twentieth-century art, and a friendship that has touched the lives of each of us. Their friendship produced Cubism, which changed the direction of fine art and significantly influenced us all by altering the design of objects we use every day.

Around the turn of the century, instead of trying to stake out “their” style, artists were looking for the one style that would definitively replace the art of the academies. Braque and Picasso were different in temperament, intellect, and pictorial gift. But they complemented each other. During the years between 1907 and 1914 they contributed to the realization of a common vision. “We were like mountain-climbers roped together,” Braque recalled. “Almost every evening,” said Picasso, “either I went to Braque’s studio or Braque came to mine. Each of us had to see what the other had done during the day.”

I, too, have longed for such creative friendship. And the exhibition Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism, held last fall at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, recalled for me some youthful dreams and disappointments.

I once dreamed that it would be given to my generation of believers to create an art of power, beauty, and enduring worth. I have dreamed that Christians could make art that could capture the imagination of our society and stir our neighbors’ hearts for Christ. I have dreamed that God would establish two or three of us, or even a small group, that would raise a Christian standard of excellence in the visual arts that succeeding generations, no matter how pagan, would have to contend with and be confronted with the claims of Christ.

In my formative ...

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