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Juan Gris (Spanish, 1887-1927)


Also known as:  Gonzales, José; Gonzales, José Vittoriano; González Pérez, José Victoriano; González Pérez, José Victoriano Carmelo Carlos; González, José Victoriano; González, José Vittoriano; Gris, Joan; Gris, Juan-José Victoriano González

Birth Place: Madrid (Madrid province, Comunidad de Madrid, Spain)

Juan Gris, born Jose Gonzalez, was a painter and sculptor who was born in Madrid, but lived in France for the majority of his life. Gris is most famous for his cubist style and dark humor which was evident even in early illustrations he submitted to publications in Madrid.

He was a mechanical drawing student in Madrid, and was largely influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec and Matisse, whom he emulated by painting in bright, vibrant colors. He graduated from the School of Arts and Industries in Spain. He then relocated to Paris, eventually taking the name Juan Gris. The geographical area of special interest that was the most influential in Juan Gris's career was Paris, largely due to his relationships with some of the most famous artists of that age, including Pablo Picasso who had a studio in the same building as Gris.

Alongside Picasso and his contemporaries, Gris developed his own twist on cubism which included an analytical and synthetic cubism and the papier collé method, also known as collage. His first exhibit was at the Salon des Independents in 1912 and he later held major exhibits in Paris and Germany. Although Juan Gris was not known to have won major awards for his art, he was influential and, today, one of the most famous cubist artists of all time.

Museums that hold works by Juan Gris in their permanent collections include the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas, the Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Yale University Art Gallery in Connecticut.

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