José Victoriano González-Pérez (March 23, 1887 May 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 genrecubism. Born in Madrid, 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. The objects in his paintings and collages are more clearly defined and richly colored than those in the works of the earlier cubists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
The geometrical compositions in which fragmented objects and sharp edged planes come together in an unreal clarity characterize this as part of the art form.
The work fills the canvas from corner to corner. Twice within the painting, you can see the guitar. There is also a shadow coming from the guitar. The shadow is not logical within the realm of reality, but typical of a cubist work. The guitar is resting on a ribboned portfolio. He also paints the wood grain, which was a later addition to cubism. In this painting there is a collage feeling element. It looks as if he pasted paper onto it but it is paint. The use of color in this painting makes it stand out from Picasso and Braque. They tended to have more subdued colors in their work. The guitar is also cut up. It looks as if it is cut and becomes the background and turns into shadow. The neck of the guitar takes on the blue, which...
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