Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter and sculptor. One of the most celebrated figures in twentieth century art, he is best known as the co-founder, along with Georges Braque, of cubism. Cubism is perhaps the quintessential modernist artist movement. In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form — instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to present the piece in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles presenting no coherent sense of depth. The background and object (or figure) planes interpenetrate one another to create the ambiguous shallow space characteristic of cubism. The larger cultural significance of cubism pertains to the disintegration of a unified sense of the world that had pervaded pre-modern European Christian culture. The impact of modernism was a breakdown of that unified perspective, which was expressed in numerous forms, none more stark or striking than cubism. What is gained, however, is a greater appreciation for alternative perspectives.
Ultimately, a truly unified world can only exist when alternative perspectives intersect and are part of the gestalt. Picasso remained neutral during the Spanish Civil War, World War I and World War II, refusing to fight for any side or country. Picasso never commented on this but encouraged the idea that it was because he was a pacifist.