From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Synthetic Cubism was the second main branch of Cubism developed by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris and others between 1912 and 1919. It was seen as the first time that collage had been made as a fine art work.
The first work of this new style was Pablo Picasso's Still Life with Chair-caning (1911–1912), which includes oil cloth pasted on the canvas. At the upper left are the letters "JOU", which appear in many cubist paintings and may refer to the popular Parisian daily newspaper Le Journal. Newspaper clippings were a common inclusion in this style of cubism, whereby physical pieces of newspaper, sheet music, and the like were included in the collages. At the same time, JOU may be a pun on the French words jeu (game) or jouer (to play). Picasso and Braque had a constant friendly competition with each other, and including the letters in their works may have been an extension of their game.
Whereas analytic cubism was an analysis of the subjects (pulling them apart into planes), synthetic cubism is more of a pushing of several objects together. Picasso, through this movement, was the first to use text in his artwork (to flatten the space), and the use of mixed media—using more than one type of medium in the same piece. Opposed to analytic cubism, synthetic cubism has fewer planar shifts (or schematism), and less shading, creating flatter space.