Coffee Grinder, Cup and Glass on a Table (1915 – 1916) by Juan Gris

Coffee Grinder, Cup and Glass on a Table - Juan Gris - 1915 - 1916

Artwork Information

TitleCoffee Grinder, Cup and Glass on a Table
ArtistJuan Gris
Date1915 - 1916
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Madrid, Spain

About Coffee Grinder, Cup and Glass on a Table

The artwork titled “Coffee Grinder, Cup and Glass on a Table” was created by Spanish artist Juan Gris between 1915 and 1916. The medium of the artwork is oil on paper, showcasing Gris’s expertise in Synthetic Cubism, a movement characterized by the assemblage of different elements to create a composed image. The genre of this piece is still life, and it is part of the collection at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid, Spain.

The artwork depicts a tabletop scenario where domestic items associated with a coffee serving are presented in a fragmented and abstract composition, which is very characteristic of Cubism. Central to the piece is a coffee grinder, its cylindrical shape and dark color standing out amidst the other elements. Above and to the right of the grinder, one can observe what appears to be a cup, its form broken into geometric shapes. There is also what seems to be a glass, fragmented into the composition yet distinguishable by its unique outline.

Juan Gris plays with perspective and form, deconstructing and reassembling objects in a way that flattens the space yet hints at their three-dimensionality. The interplay of light and shadow, as well as the use of solid and patterned areas, adds to the complexity of the composition. The inclusion of text, such as “PEUGEOT FRÈRES” on the coffee grinder, adds another layer of reality to the otherwise abstract depiction, anchoring the artwork in the familiar while simultaneously challenging the viewer’s perception.

The dedication at the bottom of the artwork, “A Henriette Reyrolle amicalement Juan Gris,” suggests a personal connection to the depicted objects or the individual to whom the piece is dedicated, adding a touch of intimacy to what might otherwise be seen as an impersonal Cubist exploration. This combination of personal elements with avant-garde artistic techniques makes this work an engaging piece representative of Gris’s contribution to the Synthetic Cubism movement.

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