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Conference Thyssen Andorra at home: Juan Gris

Today, the artistic director of the Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra, Guillermo Cervera, dedicates his speech to the great figure of Cubism, Juan Gris, through his work “Seated Woman“, 1917, which is part of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.

José Victoriano Gonzalez, better known as Juan Gris, was a Madrilenian artist born on March 23, 1887 and died on May 11, 1927, when he was only 40 years old. He began his engineering studies in Madrid and in 1904, two years later, he left for Paris to discover the avant-garde. He quickly integrated himself into the revolutionary Parisian creative environment and became closer to his greatest figures, such as Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.

As a privileged witness of the birth of the cubist movement in 1907 following the creation of Pablo Picasso’s visual manifesto “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon“, Juan Gris finally started painting in 1910. This brand-new movement, characterized by the deconstruction and fragmentation into multiple facets of figuration, promotes its complexity at the border between figuration and abstraction.

Juan Gris develops a very personal style. Initially inspired by Analytical Cubism (1908 – 1912) characterized by complex perspective effects and almost non-existent colours, the artist nevertheless became one of the main representatives of Synthetic Cubism (1912 – 1919). The Spanish painter gave new theoretical bases to the movement by bringing colours up to date and using the collage technique.


Often referred to as the “second Spaniard of Cubism”, Juan Gris is nevertheless defined by his intuitive, sensitive and intelligent art, which several artists, such as Salvador Dali, praised and even described as more sophisticated and deep than the works of the great Picasso himself.

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