A Man in a Cafe (1914) by Juan Gris

A Man in a Cafe - Juan Gris - 1914

Artwork Information

TitleA Man in a Cafe
ArtistJuan Gris
Mediumoil and papers pasted on Canvas
Dimensions99 x 72 cm (39 x 28 3/8 in.)
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationAcquavella Galleries, Inc., New York

About A Man in a Cafe

Juan Gris’ artwork titled “A Man in a Cafe,” created in 1914, is an exemplar of Synthetic Cubism, employing oil and various papers pasted on a canvas. The dimensions of the artwork measure 99 x 72 cm. As a genre painting, it captures an aspect of everyday life, in this case, the simple yet thematically rich setting of a cafe. The artwork is currently held at the Acquavella Galleries, Inc., in New York.

Examining the artwork, one observes the fragmented geometry characteristic of Cubism, where shapes and forms are broken down and reassembled from multiple perspectives. The artwork is composed of a neutral palette with interspersed vibrant hues, contributing to the overall dynamic and harmonious interplay of color and form. The central figure, suggested by the title to be a man, is depicted in a manner that intertwines him with his surroundings, blurring the line between the subject and the background. The inclusion of different papers provides textural variety and a sense of real-world elements incorporated into the painting. Gris’ meticulous composition and skillful use of shadow and light create a sense of depth within the flatness of the canvas, guiding the viewer’s eye through the intricate details of the cafĂ© scene. The artwork stands as a testament to Gris’ place in the avant-garde movement of the early 20th century, showing his unique approach to form, perspective, and material within the genre painting tradition.

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