Bottles and Knife Juan Gris Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo in the Netherlands owns this memorable Cubist artwork from Juan Gris which is loosely dated as between 1911 - 1912.

The artist takes the elements on a breakfast table and fragments them using overall diagonal lines which start from the top left and progress down to the bottom right. The forms are still identifiable, though, with a plate and knife in the foreground, with two bottles and a glass placed just behind. Normally the artist would include the table itself, and perhaps a table cloth, but in this example he chooses not to. The environment around these objects is actually left out entirely, just using a greeny beige tone to fill in the rest of the canvas. Each object features a gradient of grey in its bottom right corner, which helps to indicate form as no real outlines are used.

There is also a shadow behind the top left of many of these objects which again provides an indication of form but without resorting to clear outlines that you might find in some of his other paintings. At the back are two items, one of which has "DW" written on it. Perhaps these are salt and pepper pots? It is hard to identify those, though an examination of his other paintings from around this period would probably provide clues as to just what exactly they represent. One of the main stand-out points from this artwork is just how different the style is as compared to many other Cubist paintings by Gris, perhaps suggesting some influence from other members of the group such as Picasso, Braque and Leger who all had their own unique approaches to this revolutionary art movement.

Those lucky enough to see this painting up close at the Kröller-Müller Museum will also have the opportunity to check out some of the other notable pieces from their collection, including famous artworks from the likes of Auguste Herbin, Piet Mondrian and Vincent van Gogh. There is also one of the finest sculpture gardens in Europe, which hosts work from Barbara Hepworth, Carl Andre, among others. They represent Gris particularly well, too, with many other paintings and drawings from his career within their impressive collection that currently numbers over 20,000 in total.