Juan Gris

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Missing image
Juan_Gris_001.jpg
The Sunblind, 1914, Tate Gallery.

José Victoriano González-Pérez (March 23, 1887May 11, 1927), better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life. His works are closely connected to the emergence of an innovative artistic genre — cubism.

Born in Madrid, Spain, Gris studied mechanical drawing at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904, during which time he contributed drawings to local periodicals. From 1904 to 1905 he studied painting with the academic artist José Maria Carbonero.

In 1906 he moved to Paris and became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and in 1915 was painted by his friend, Amedeo Modigliani.

In Paris, Gris followed the lead of another friend and fellow countryman, Pablo Picasso. His portrait of Picasso in 1912 is a significant early cubist painting done by a painter other than Picasso or Georges Braque.

Although he submitted humorous illustrations to journals such as Lassiette au beurre, Le Charivari, and Le Cri de Paris, Gris began to paint seriously in 1910. By 1912 he had developed a personal Cubist style.

At first painted in the analytic style of cubism but after 1915, he began his conversion to synthetic cubism of which he became a steadfast interpreter, with extensive use of papier collé. Unlike Picasso and Braque whose works were monochomatic, Gris concentrated on painting with bright colors.

In 1922 the painter first designed ballet sets and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev.

Gris articulated most of his aesthetic theories during 1924 and 1925. He delivered his definitive lecture, Des possibilités de la peinture, at the Sorbonne in 1924.

Major Gris exhibitions took place at the Galerie Simon in Paris and the Galerie Flechtheim in Berlin in 1923 and at the Galerie Flechtheim in Düsseldorf in 1925.

He died in Boulogne-sur-Seine.

Although he regarded Picasso as a teacher, Gertrude Stein acknowledged that Gris, "was the one person that Picasso would have willingly wiped off the map."

Before 2005, a Gris painting sold for more than $8.4 million.

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