Three Lamps (1910-11) by Juan Gris

Three Lamps - Juan Gris - 1910 - 1911

Artwork Information

TitleThree Lamps
ArtistJuan Gris
Date1910 - 1911
MediumWatercolor on paper
Dimensions61.8 x 47.8 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationKunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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About Three Lamps

Spanish painter Juan Gris is a master of Cubism, a movement he helped pioneer in the early 20th century. Born on March 23, 1887 in Madrid, Spain, Gris was highly influenced by other avant-garde painters such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. His formative works broke away from traditional art forms; but the piece that solidified his fame was ‘Three Lamps’, created in 1910-11.

Using an early Cubist aesthetic style, Gris employed part-objects from everyday life to illustrate how forms interact with each other. He also used colors to bring together different visual elements for a unified composition. In his painting ‘Three Lamps’, the geometric shapes emphasize three distinct structures and combine them into a single unit. The vibrant palette experiments with bright blues and oranges, giving the painting its abstract character.

Gris later shifted towards Purism in 1916 through 1917 and focused on geometric structure for which he is known for today. In ‘The Violin’ (1916) we see Gris continue to employ vivid colors but now with more clarity due to its inspiration of industrial products like cars and trains. Forms of four violins are outlined inside a rectangular box while lines are directed by diagonals to connect one violin string to another forming interesting compositions inside each violin shape.

Juan Gris’ creations challenged traditional European painting and sculpture techniques; his paintings exemplify the beauty of abstract compositions through their meticulous use of colors and precise shapes that accentuate spacial characteristics within each work.

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