Juan Gris’ “The Siphon” is a prime example of Synthetic Cubism, a style characterized by its use of collage elements and simplified forms. Gris, who was born in Madrid in 1887 and first trained as an engineer before turning to art, was one of the four key figures in Cubism, along with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Fernand Léger. His artwork showcases his limitless invention and imaginative energy.
The artwork features a cylinder-shaped siphon as its main subject and is part of a larger series featuring bottles and glasses. The artwork achieved an exceptionally high price at auction in 2010 by selling well above the estimate. Currently located at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.
Gris’ painting style showcases his unique approach to color harmony as well as his technical skill in geometric abstraction. Through simplification and flattening forms into planes jarred against each other instead of appearing naturalistic he creates patterns that are not identifiable but give us an idea of what they represent exactly because they refer to objects with which we are familiar. His artworks evoke feelings from viewers through seemingly abstract forms built up out of bits & pieces (newspaper clippings or advertisements). In recent years many exhibitions have showcased Juan Gris’s works confirming his important contribution to modern art not only through fashioning new visual effects iconoclastic but also for having influenced contemporary creators.