Juan Gris (1887-1927)
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Juan Gris (1887-1927)


Juan Gris (1887-1927)
Conté crayon and pen and ink on paper
13¼ x 10¼ in. (33.5 x 26 cm.)
Executed in 1921
The artist's estate.
Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris.
Private collection, United States; sale, Sotheby's, London, 4 December 1991, lot 132.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Juan Gris, Pinturas y dibujos 1910-1927, June - September 2005 (illustrated vol. I, no. 225 & vol. II, pp. 218-219); this exhibition later travelled to Madrid, Galería Elvira González.
Sète, Musée Paul Valéry, Juan Gris, Rimes de la forme et de la couleur, June - October 2011, pp. 128-129 (illustrated p. 129).
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Cornelia Svedman
Cornelia Svedman

Lot Essay

Quentin Laurens, holder of the droit morale for the work of Henri Laurens, has confirmed that this work is registered in his archives.

'I work with the elements of the intellect, with the imagination. I try to make concrete that which is abstract. I proceed from the general to the particular, by which I mean that I start with an abstraction in order to arrive at a new fact. Mine is an art of synthesis, of deduction, as Raynal has said.
'I want to arrive at a new specification; starting from a general type I want to make something particular and individual.
'I consider that the architectural element in painting is mathematics, the abstract side; I want to humanise it. Cézanne turns a bottle into a cylinder, but I began with a cylinder and create an individual of a special type: I make a bottle a particular bottle out of a cylinder. Cézanne tends towards architecture, I tend away from it. That is why I compose with abstractions (colours) and make my adjustments when these colours have assumed the form of objects. For example, I make a composition with a white and a black and make adjustments when the white has become a paper and the black a shadow: what I mean is that I adjust the white so that it becomes a paper and the black so that it becomes a shadow.
'This painting is to the other what poetry is to prose' (Gris, quoted in D.-H. Kahnweiler, Juan Gris: His Life and Work, trans. D. Cooper, London, 1969, p. 193).

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