Strawberry Jam (1917) by Juan Gris

Strawberry Jam - Juan Gris - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleStrawberry Jam
ArtistJuan Gris
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationKunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

About Strawberry Jam

“Strawberry Jam,” created by the artist Juan Gris in 1917, is a quintessential example of Synthetic Cubism, a later phase of Cubism which involved the construction of paintings from objects and shapes rather than their deconstruction. This artwork, which belongs to the still life genre, is exhibited at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland.

In reviewing the artwork, it presents a composition that integrates various textures, patterns, and typographic elements, indicative of Synthetic Cubism’s approach to blending real-world items with shapes and flat planes. The still life includes fragmented objects such as a bottle, a glass, a newspaper, and what appears to be the label from a strawberry jam jar, alluding to the title. The elements are carefully rearranged to create a sense of depth, with overlapping geometric shapes and a restricted color palette that seems to echo the muted tones typical of the era’s aesthetic.

The use of real-world textures and text, such as the printed word “FRAISES” (French for strawberries), suggests a collage effect, although the artwork is a painting. The interplay of the solid planes and the cubist fragmentation makes it a visually engaging work, with the central elements coalescing to invite contemplation on the part of the viewer about the relationship between the represented objects and their portrayal through the lens of Cubist art.

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