Juan Gris: 12 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Portrait of Pablo Picasso (January-February 1912) by Juan Gris (Spanish, 1887–1927)The Art Institute of Chicago

'In 1906 Juan Gris traveled to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and participated in the development of Cubism. Just six years later, Gris too was known as a Cubist and identified by at least one critic as "Picasso's disciple."'

Violin and Guitar (1913) by Juan GrisMuseo Reina Sofia

'In 1913, the year of Violin and Guitar, Juan Gris had completely assimilated the Cubist principles, through his knowledge of the work of Picasso and Braque and his own research on Cézanne. However, Gris was never an academic Cubist, like so many who went so far as to create a Cubist rulebook without understanding the challenges of the new visual language.'

The Bottle of Anís del Mono (1914) by Juan GrisMuseo Reina Sofia

'He uses the negative and juxtaposed and inclined planes to create volume, "flat, tilted architectures" as he called them. Gris would comment that, in contrast to Cézanne, he himself did not make a bottle out of a cylinder, but rather a cylinder out of a bottle, thus explaining the basis of a deductive method.'

The fruit bowl (1914) by Juan GrisThe Kröller-Müller Museum

'Cubist In Paris, the Spanish artist Juan Gris witnesses the cubist experiments of Picasso and Braque. Like them, he begins working in this style and starts making collages.'

Coffee Grinder and Glass (1915) by Juan GrisThe Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

'With the addition of the letters Le J, for Le Journal, the French word for newspaper, Gris alludes to Cubist collage, a technique in which paper or similar materials are glued to a surface. Most characteristic of Gris is the use of rich, jewel-like colors.'

Guitar on a table (1915) by Juan GrisThe Kröller-Müller Museum

'The first work that Helene Kröller-Müller buys from Gris in 1913, the 'Still life with paraffin lamp' from 1912, is also the first Cubist painting she's ever seen.'

Damier et cartes à jouer [Checkerboard and playing cards] (1915) by Juan GRISNational Gallery of Australia, Canberra

'Checkerboard and playing cards acts both as a paradigm of Cubist achievement and as an intensely personal statement by Gris.'

Portrait of Josette Gris (1916) by Juan GrisMuseo Reina Sofia

'Christopher Green and Kenneth Silver, art historians and specialists in the work of Juan Gris, have pointed out that for some Cubists, such as Gris, Lipchitz and Picasso, connecting with the so-called "French tradition" was extremely important. According to Green, this connection with French classical painting took the form of a new sense of compositional order and in a restriction of pictorial elements, two aspects practiced by the Cubists and, especially, Juan Gris.'

Still Life with Newspaper (1916) by Juan GrisThe Phillips Collection

'Juan Gris earned his reputation as a "perfect painter" by creating exquisite cubist pictures notable for their stunning precision, exact proportions, and brilliant use of color. Although Gris did not begin to experiment with cubist principles until 1911, he quickly established himself, alongside Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, as one of cubism's most eminent exponents.'

Carafe and Book (1920) by Juan GrisMuseo Reina Sofia

'Along with references to the arts, Gris added elements that are traditionally indicative of the senses, such as grapes, pipes or playing cards. Gris, like Picasso and Braque, also invented new combinations of conventional allegorical attributes.'

Guitar in Front of the Sea (1925) by Juan GrisMuseo Reina Sofia

'This painting from 1925 would be one of the last to be painted by Juan Gris; in its simplicity, however, Guitar in Front of the Sea maintains the ideas of 1915.'

The Musician's Table (1926) by Juan GrisMuseo Reina Sofia

'This classicism and sense of order, which were very popular in the post-war period, is perhaps the most personal contribution that Juan Gris made to the Cubist movement, not so much as a reaction to the avant-garde, but as the capacity to give it a new way of seeing.'

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