Today is the 125th birthday of a Spanish painter and sculptor Juan Gris (March 23, 1887 – May 11, 1927), who lived and worked in France most of his life. His works, which are closely connected to the emergence of an innovative artistic genre—Cubism—are among the movement's most distinctive. Presenting a short note on his life and work : Being Poet
Juan Gris born in Madrid. Gris studied mechanical drawing at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904, during which time he contributed drawings to local periodicals. From 1904 to 1905 he studied painting with the academic artist José Maria Carbonero. In 1906 he moved to Paris and became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and in 1915 was painted by his friend, Amedeo Modigliani. In Paris, Gris followed the lead of another friend and fellow countryman, Pablo Picasso. His portrait of Picasso in 1912 is a significant early Cubist painting done by a painter other than Picasso or Georges Braque. (Although he regarded Picasso as a teacher, Gertrude Stein acknowledged that Gris "was the one person that Picasso would have willingly wiped off the map.")
In 1924, he first designed ballet sets and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev and the famous Ballets Russes. Gris articulated most of his aesthetic theories during 1924 and 1925. He delivered his definitive lecture, Des possibilites de la peinture, at the Sorbonne in 1924. Major Gris exhibitions took place at the Galerie Simon in Paris and the Galerie Flechtheim in Berlin in 1923, and at the Galerie Flechtheim in Dusseldorf in 1925. He died in Boulogne-sur-Seine (Paris) in the spring of 1927 at the age of forty, leaving a wife, Josette, and a son, Georges. Before 2005, a Gris painting sold for more than USD69 million.
(Source : www.juangris.org)