Still Life with Checked Tablecloth (1915) by Juan Gris

Still Life with Checked Tablecloth - Juan Gris - 1915

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Checked Tablecloth
ArtistJuan Gris
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions116 x 89 cm (45 5/8 x 35 in.)
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Still Life with Checked Tablecloth

The artwork “Still Life with Checked Tablecloth” by Juan Gris was created in 1915 and exemplifies the Synthetic Cubism movement. Rendered in oil on canvas, it measures 116 by 89 centimeters. As a still life, this piece resides in a private collection and features a dynamic composition enriched by cubist aesthetics and structural complexity.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with an array of objects arranged upon a checked tablecloth, which lends its name to the piece. The subjects are depicted with angular fragmentation typical of cubist art, where the viewer may discern a bowl of grapes, newspapers, and other items such as a bottle, glassware, and possibly pieces of fruit or bread. These items are constructed from an interlocking mix of shapes and planes, with the incorporation of lettering and numerals that suggest the presence of printed material, thus adding to the composition’s texture and depth.

The distinct use of geometric patterns, overlapping forms, and varying perspectives play with traditional perceptions of space, drawing the eye across the canvas as it attempts to resolve the abstraction into familiar forms. The contrasts between light and shadow, as well as the meticulous attention to detail within the checked pattern of the tablecloth, add a compelling dynamism to the composition. Ultimately, the artwork stands as a pioneering exploration of the still life genre through the lens of cubism, pushing the boundaries of how everyday objects can be represented and perceived.

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