Coffee Grinder and Glass (1915) by Juan Gris

Coffee Grinder and Glass - Juan Gris - 1915

Artwork Information

TitleCoffee Grinder and Glass
ArtistJuan Gris
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationNelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, US

About Coffee Grinder and Glass

“Coffee Grinder and Glass,” completed in 1915 by Juan Gris, is an exemplar of the Cubist movement. This still life is currently housed at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. The genre of the artwork reflects the common practice within Cubism of depicting everyday objects with an analytical and fragmented approach.

The artwork presents a collection of objects that suggest a domestic setting, possibly a snapshot of a kitchen or a sideboard. The composition is constructed with a palette that is relatively subdued, utilizing greens, browns, blacks, and pinks. The geometrical shapes and interlocking planes are characteristic of Cubist art, wherein the subject matter is broken down, analyzed, and reassembled in an abstracted form.

Items such as the titular coffee grinder and glass are recognizable, yet distorted and overlaid with other forms, creating a sense of depth and multiple viewpoints. Shadows and highlights are used not necessarily to convey realistic light sources, but to emphasize the structure and relationship between the forms.

One can observe that Gris has employed both sharp geometric lines and softer, more curved shapes, likely indicating the movement of the objects or their interaction with surrounding space. The integration of letters and numbers suggests a connection to the influence of contemporary life and possibly the pervasiveness of commercial culture, which is a trait sometimes seen in Cubist works.

Gris, being a key figure in the Cubist movement, demonstrates his command of the style through both the complexity and harmony of the composition, making “Coffee Grinder and Glass” an important work within the development of modern art.

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