Still Life (1916) by Juan Gris

Still Life - Juan Gris - 1916

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life
ArtistJuan Gris
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationDetroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, US

About Still Life

Juan Gris’ artwork titled “Still Life,” created in 1916, is a canonical example of Synthetic Cubism, a movement known for its construction of paintings from simpler shapes and brighter colors. The medium used for this piece is oil on canvas. The artwork, which currently resides at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan, USA, epitomizes the genre of still life within this influential art movement.

The artwork exhibits a rich complexity of geometric forms and interlocking planes characteristic of Cubism. Various textures and patterns are evident throughout the composition, suggesting different materials and surfaces within the still life arrangement. A text fragment, “LE JOUR,” adds a graphic element that intersects with these planes, providing a reference to reality within the abstracted representation. The use of light and shadow is minimal, hinting at dimensionality while the vibrant, yet limited palette aids in unifying the composition. The carefully balanced composition and the emphasis on the flatness of the canvas surface mark a departure from traditional perspective, favoring a flattened pictorial space that is uniquely modern. This harmonious amalgamation of form, pattern, and color stands as a testament to Gris’ mastery within the Synthetic Cubism movement.

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