Juan Gris is a protagonist of Cubism. José Victoriano González Pérez, born in 1887, focussed in his studies at first on natural science, before he took painting lessons with José Moreno Carbonero. In 1906 Juan Gris, which he chose as his artist name and also used it to sign his works with, moved to the vibrant art metropolis Paris, where he began to make a living by drawing for newspapers and the like.
While his early works clearly show the influence of Art Nouveau, works made as of 1910 already carry characteristic features of Cubism, such as the decomposition and simplification of forms, as well as the composition’s animate structuring. However, what is so typical of paintings and collages by Juan Gris is their clear immanent orderliness. Still lives count among the artist’s preferred motifs, they are endowed with everyday objects such as cutlery, fruits or bottles, along with guitars or figures and portraits.
In Paris and on his numerous journeys, Juan Gris met contemporaries like his artist colleagues Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Jacques Lipchitz and patrons such as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, with whom he was in an artistically fruitful friendship. At the age of a mere 40 years Juan Gris died in May 1927.