Saturday, August 30, 2014

Juan Gris (1887-1927)

"Juan Gris has long been seen as the third member of a prodigious trinity that produced the very best Cubist painting. First came [Pablo] Picasso and [Georges] Braque and then -- following in their footsteps -- came the modest, disciplined Gris." ~ Juan Gris, text by Rafael Jackson Martin, translated by Sue Brownbridge (Madrid: Ediciones Poligrafa, 2005), page 5. 
Juan Gris just happened to be born at the same place that mi madre and I used as a base for cultural operations in Spain earlier this summer: Hotel Europa, Calle Carmen, 4 (just off the Puerta del Sol). What good luck! We had no idea until we arrived. The plaque above is mounted outside by the café


EN ESTA CASA
NACIO
EL PINTOR MADRILEÑO
JOSÉ VICTORIANO GONZÁLEZ
JUAN GRIS
1887-1927
Vue sur la baie / View Across the Bay (1921), lobby of Hotel Europa in Madrid, June 2014. How cool is that? Original can be seen at the Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris. However, more than two dozen of Gris' works are in Rooms 208 and 210 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Calle Santa Isabel, 52, Madrid. Link here.
In addition to his often colorful Cubist work, Juan Gris did illustrations, sketches, portraits (as above of his friend, the Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro) and so on. Some of his work is still floating around the world on the open market, or remains hidden. Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O) purchased at least one work; another sold on auction in February 2014 for the equivalent of more than $56 million dollars. Check out the link to Christie's Sale 1505, Lot 9, here. Probably needless to say, Gris saw nothing like this kind of cash flow in his own lifetime, and he died at age forty between the World Wars, before the Spanish Civil War.   

Today's Rune: Separation (Reversed). 

2 comments:

t said...

wow.

Charles Gramlich said...

My art education stopped in college, I'm afraid. I know nothing of Gris's work