Cubism, Trompe l’Oeil, and Juan Gris – The Artsology Weblog

I loved a go to to the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork final week, and one of many exhibits I used to be wanting ahead to seeing was “Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Tradition,” which in contrast these two inventive types. I’ve lengthy been a fan of cubist art, and was anticipating to be wowed by cubist work by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who had been the first pioneers of this model. However I got here away from the present considering that Juan Gris was in reality the standout star of this present. Maybe it is because I’m very acquainted with Picasso’s and Braque’s cubist works, having seen a lot of them reproduced in artwork books many occasions in addition to on this and different museums prior to now. And whereas I’m acquainted with the work of Juan Gris, the work included on this present had been both new to me or just stood out as one thing contemporary and totally different from the Picassos and Braques that I really like.

Right here’s a pair of Juan Gris cubist work from the present: under left, “Violin and Engraving,” 1913, and under proper, “Bottle and Fruit Dish,” 1916.

Juan Gris cubist paintings
Cubist work by Juan Gris, seen within the Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Custom exhibition on the Met.

If I can higher clarify why these appealed to me, one of many issues that appeared contemporary and totally different was Gris’ expanded use of shade. Picasso and Braque typically stayed in a variety of earth tones, so using blue by Gris (above left) and different daring colours, resembling crimson, yellow and inexperienced (seen in different works not proven right here), actually made his works pop. The Met really has a really in-depth evaluation of Juan Gris within the context of cubism and this exhibition, take a look at their coverage of him here.

Don’t get me improper, I liked seeing the Picassos and Braques, and to a lesser-extent, the trompe l’oeil work, which – to me – appeared extra like comparability factors on this exhibition for a way the cubist artists had been radically altering a more-traditional nonetheless life model. This subsequent pairing helps clarify what I imply: at left is “Nonetheless Life with Violin, Ewer, and Bouquet of Flowers,” 1657, by J.S. Bernard, and at proper is “Nonetheless Life with Compote and Glass,” 1914-15, by Pablo Picasso. The Bernard portray is beautiful, I really like the folds and shadows of the oriental rug overlaying the desk and the precise particulars and lighting of the assorted objects on this nonetheless life. However then one can check out Picasso doing the identical factor – so far as portray objects on a desk – however he’s distorting the objects, breaking them up and reassembling them in an abstracted type, and flattening out the sense of house.

A trompe l'oeil painting next to a Picasso cubist painting
Seeing a trompe l’oeil nonetheless life by J.S. Bernand alongside a cubist nonetheless life by Pablo Picasso. Seen on the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York Metropolis.

The exhibition is up by means of this coming Sunday, January 22, 2023, so for those who get an opportunity to catch it on one in all its final days, I’d extremely counsel it. There’s a lot extra to the present than what I lined right here, however hopefully I offered an introduction that may result in additional investigation. You may also get info on planning a visit to the Met here.