Because I teach Art History, my classes are frequently in the museum, but the most challenging class is often Art 150, a core course in Patterns. One goal for this course is to overcome prejudices about different kinds of art, and Albert Gleize's 1920 Cubist oil painting, The Man in the City, in the Modern and Contemporary Room, is a good place to start. Because this is not a representational painting, I ask the students if they see a man or a city.
Most identify some buildings but cannot find the man. I ask them to look more carefully and they then begin to pick out arms legs, and eyes, scattered throughout the painting. Interest develops as the class tends to see the painting as a puzzle to be solved. I then ask them to consider the lines and colors in the painting and they soon identify the geometric forms (triangles, rectangles, etc.) which are the hallmark of Cubism, forms created with bright colors.