Violin And Guitar, 1913 by Juan Gris is an oil painting that is particularly representative of the artist’s formal development. The subject matter is two essentially silhouetted forms of a violin and guitar, but their ingeniously detached qualities stand for the things themselves rather than a merely descriptive depiction. The defining characteristic of this particular work is Gris’s distinctive method of blurring the distinction between the background and the objects. Most surfaces are blended in such a way that is difficult to distinguish where one ends and the other begins, an innovative concept at the time. Additionally, some areas of colour have been left unpainted to create an almost three-dimensional effect.
Violin And Glass, 1915 by Juan Gris follows similar techniques as Violin And Guitar – not only in terms of oil painting and use of light but also in its representation of self-referential objects like a glass bottle and pipe glass. Usually compared and seen as a companion piece to Violin And Guitar, this later work further explores concepts such as negative space and specific colour palettes to draw attention towards details otherwise overlooked or blurred. These two masterful pieces capture Gonzalez’s ability to express depth through minimal design, making them timeless icons in modern art history.