Abstract

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 the authors 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.

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