Juan Gris was the
Third Musketeer of Cubism, and actually pushed Cubism further to its logical
conclusion until his ultimely death in 1927 at the age of 39.
The Spanish artist Juan Gris, b. Mar. 13, 1887, d. May 11, 1927, was,
with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, one of the first and greatest exponents
of the cubist idiom in painting.
Originally named Jose Victoriano Gonzalez, he adopted the pseudonym by
which he is known after moving (1906) to Paris, where he lived as
friend and neighbor. Between 1907 and 1912 he watched closely the development
of the cubist style and in 1912 exhibited his Homage to Picasso (collection
of Mrs. and Mrs. Leigh Block, Chicago), which established his reputation
as a painter of the first rank. He worked closely with Picasso and Braque
until the outbreak of World War I, adapting what had been their intuitively
generated innovations to his own methodical temperament.
In the 1920s, Gris designed costumes and scenery for Serge DIAGHILEV's
Ballets Russes. He also completed some of the boldest and most mature
statements of his cubist style, with landscape-still lifes that compress
interiors and exteriors into synthetic cubist compositions, such as Le
Canigou (1921; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y.), and figure paintings,
especially the fine series of clowns that includes Two Pierrots (1922;
collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hecht, Beverly Hills, Calif.).