Still Life with a Guitar
Juan Gris (Spanish (worked in France), 1887–1927)
73 x 94.6 cm (28 3/4 x 37 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on canvas
Not On View
One of the leading Cubists, Gris always resisted the extreme fragmentation of form seen in the early Cubism of Picasso and Braque. In his still lifes of the 1920s Gris’s aspiration towards a pure, “classical” Cubism is revealed in the clarity of his treatment of objects. In 1921 he remarked: “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 true fact.”
Lower left: Juan Gris 25
1925, Galerie Simon, Paris (stock no. 9011); November 20, 1925, sold by the Galerie Simon to Gottlieb Friedrich Reber (b. 1880 - d. 1959), Lausanne; by 1933, sold by Reber to Paul de Frassari Adamidi Bey (b. 1901/02 - d. mid-1980s), Geneva [see note 1]. 1951, with the Galerie Charpentier, Paris (?) [see note 2]. Galerie Kleinmann, Paris. By 1960, George David Thompson (b. 1899 - d. 1965), Pittsburgh [see note 3]. Silberman Galleries, New York (?) [see note 4]. 1961, Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., St. Louis, MO; 1967, gift of Pulitzer to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 13, 1967)
 Gottlieb Friedrich Reber was an important collector of Cubist art who purchased twenty-eight pictures by Gris at the Galerie Simon on November 20, 1925. He sold this painting to Paul de Frassari Adamidi Bey; see Dorothy Kosinksi, "G. F. Reber: collector of Cubism," Burlington Magazine 133 (August 1991): p. 530. Bey lent the painting to the exhibition "Juan Gris," Kunsthaus, Zurich, April 2-26, 1933, cat. no. 127.  According to Douglas Cooper, "Juan Gris, catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint," vol. 2 (Paris, 1977), cat. no. 531, p. 356, the painting was included in the exhibition "Natures Mortes Françaises," Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1951 (cat. no. 78, "La guitarre," no lender named).  According to information provided by the Beyeler Gallery, Basel (August 4, 2004), Thompson consigned the work to the gallery and it was returned to him. While on consignment, the painting was included in the exhibition "Thompson Collection," Kunsthaus, Zurich (October 15 - November 27, 1960); Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (December 14, 1960 - January 29, 1961); and Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (February 17 - April 9, 1961).  "Silberman" is written in chalk on the reverse of the painting stretcher.
Gift of Joseph Pulitzer, Jr.