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

Citron et raisin

Juan Gris (1887-1927)
Citron et raisin
signed and indistinctly dated 'Juan Gris 25' (lower left)
oil on canvas
10¾ x 16¼ in. (27.3 x 41.3 cm.)
Painted in July - October 1925
Galerie Simon (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris.
Michel Couturier, Paris.
Josef Müller, Solothurn.
Bernard Poissonnier, Paris.
Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York.
Maria Martins, Washington, D.C, by 1947.
Perls Gallery, New York (no. 6263).
Acquired from the above by the present owner in December 1965.
D.-H. Kahnweiler, Juan Gris, His Life and Work, London, 1947, p. 171 (illustrated pl. 90).
D. Cooper, Juan Gris, catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1977, vol. II, no. 541, p. 364 (illustrated p. 365).
Special notice
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Antoine Lebouteiller
Antoine Lebouteiller

Lot Essay

Juan Gris was one of the great pioneers of Cubism, and like his contemporaries associated with that trailblazing movement, managed to remain an innovator throughout his life. His continued thirst for innovation was demonstrated by the paintings he created in the last few years of his life. Painted in 1925, Citron et raisin dates from the beginning of this final triumphant phase, during which Gris would enjoy a marked return to form as well as financial and critical success. This was due to the new clarity which entered his works and with which Citron et raisin is so clearly suffused: there is a visual rhythm to the picture that leads the eye easily around the various assembled forms, which are easily read. The grapes and lemon introduce areas of colour; the circles of the grapes in particular take on an effervescent quality compared with the longer lines and waving forms of which the scene is composed. They add a burst of energy, contrasting with the rationality of the blue tiles in the background. The fruits also introduce the sense of taste and smell to the picture, elements that Gris was keen to instil in his works.

During the period that Citron et raisin was painted, Gris was being championed by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, the dealer so strongly associated with Cubism who would also write a monograph on the artist after his death. His works began once more to be purchased by significant collectors in both France and Switzerland. It is notable that Citron et raisin itself was owned by Josef Müller, who assembled an incredible array of works by a range of artists and from many cultures which formed the backbone of the celebrated Barbier-Mueller Collection. The picture later entered the formidable collection of the writer Bernard Poissonnier, who also owned a string of works by artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso.

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