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Juan Gris

 Biography

Juan Gris, whose original name is José Victoriano González, was born on March 23, 1887, in Madrid, Spain and died on May 11, 1927, in Boulogne-sur-Seine, France. He was a Spanish artist whose style of artwork created new direction –  Synthetic Cubism.

Biography of the painter is fascinating and important to know while we are interested in discovering his way of life, and events that led him to creating of famous paintings.

When he was 15 years old, he entered at the Madrid School of Arts and Manufactures where he studied engineering. Soon he began making drawings for newspapers in Art Nouveau style and left the school. Later, in 1906 he decided to move to Paris, after his father’s death. There also lived his friend and the founder of cubism Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Gris was very excited to see and to be friends with such famous and important people in those days. Exactly in Paris Gris began his career as a painter. The year of the serious stage started in 1910.

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1912 was a successful year for our hero. Exactly in that year Gris founded his personal style and more mature version of his thoughts. He called that direction – Synthetic Cubism. All his works have one main rule. They must have strict geometric forms in which all the objects have their strict position and clarity. And you know, this looks magnificent. Examples below will show you what we mean by strict. Also, between 1921 and 1927, Gris transformed a little bit his Synthetic Cubism style, and it became much free and lyrical.

Key Ideas in painting

  • Gris had an aim and idea that was different from the one that Picasso and Braque had. They wanted to destroy the conventions of paintings. Whereas in fact, Gris wanted to please an eye of each person who sees a picture. And this was the main reason why he moved on and made new and new things every day.
  • Our painter was a part of all those poets, choreographers, musicians and visual artists who changed the art and who were the foundation of something new. He also made costumes for the Ballet Russes show, and his ideas about interdisciplinary collaboration gathered momentum and became a key one in the contemporary art.

Paintings made by Juan Gris

Juan Gris has various and important pieces of art. But let’s talk about his most significant ones. In Paris, he continued creating his famous ark works. Most  famous are ‘Le Rire’ (The laugh) and ‘Le Cri de Paris’ (The Cry of Paris). In 1910 he understood that his life should be dedicated and connected to an artistic way, so he began to paint some serious paintings. Also, we can’t keep silent about one of the most essential and famous art which was dedicated to his mentor Pablo Picasso.

As you know, Gris started with paint according to the rules of Cubism, which Picasso invented. Soon, he changed it and discovered something new, something colorful and stricter. Exactly after that, he made some more exciting pieces of art called ‘Violín y vaso’ (Violin and Glass), ‘Guitarra Sobre ulna Silla’ (Guitar on a Chair) and ‘El torero’ (The Bullfighter).

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Portrait of Picasso

This picture is dedicated to Gris’s teacher and mentor – Pablo Picasso. It isn’t unpredictable, yeah? In comparison to his others paintings, this one is in strict cubism style. To see the difference you may look below and see two other examples where works were done in Synthetic Cubism style. This picture is strictly in grey, blue and brown colors. All parts of “Portrait of Picasso” seem to be in motion.

Bottle and Pitcher

This picture is called “Bottle and Pitcher” is hard to realize by any common viewer. But no matter what a picture has a deep sense and meaning. This work was done for one year, and it was finally completed took a great resonance and was warmly accepted by all connoisseurs of Cubism from that period and even nowadays.

 

 

 

 

Table Overlooking the Sea

This painting is called  “Table Overlooking the Sea.” Just look how uncommon are all the way the artist painted the picture. We see here some different direction of Cubism, and this is something we can’t stand away without satisfaction. This picture was made in 1925, 2 years before the Juan Gris’s death.

 

 

 

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