About This Artwork

Juan Gris
Spanish, 1887–1927

Abstraction (Guitar and Glass), July 1913

Oil on canvas
36 x 23 1/2 in. (91.4 x 59.7 cm)
Signed and dated on verso, u.l.: "Juan Gris 7-13"

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Fund, 1961.36

Juan Gris traveled to Paris in 1906 and soon moved to the neighborhood of Montmartre, where he met Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Eventually, Gris joined their artistic circle and participated in the development of Cubism. In Abstraction (Guitar and Glass), he incorporated objects often used in Cubist still-life painting—musical instruments, newspaper, a glass, and a tabletop. Rather than shatter their forms, however, Gris took a more synthetic approach to the composition. The overlapping planes, flattened appearance, and rhythmic patterns of the painting reinforce the two-dimensional nature of the picture’s surface, while the trompe l’oeil effects, deeply saturated colors, strong light-dark contrasts, and precise definition of forms give the still life an extraordinary physical reality.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Galerie Simon, Juan Gris, March 20–April 5, 1923, cat. 3, as La Guitare.

Chicago, Art Institute, A Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1933, p. 83, cat. 775.

Chicago, Art Institute, A Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1934, p. 52, cat. 346.

New York, Jacques Seligmann and Company, Retrospective Loan Exhibition: Juan Gris, November 21–December 10, 1938, n. p., cat. 1 (ill.), as Nature Morte a la Guitare.

Chicago, Arts Club, Retrospective Exhibition: Juan Gris, January 3–27, 1939, n. p., cat. 23, as Nature Morte a la Guitare.

Chicago, Arts Club, Variety in Abstraction, March 5–30, 1946, n. p., cat. 24, as Nature Morte a la Guitare.

Cincinnati Art Museum, Juan Gris, April 30–May 31, 1948, n.p., cat. 7, as Still Life with Guitar.

San Francisco Museum of Art, Picasso, Gris, Miro: The Spanish Masters of Twentieth Century Painting, September 14–October 17, 1948, p. 77, cat. 24 (ill.); traveled to the Portland Art Museum, October 26–November 28, 1948, as Still Life with Guitar.

Madrid, Spain, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Juan Gris (1887-1927), June 22–September 19, 2005, cat. 28

Publication History

Lang, L. Maurice, Annuaire des Ventes de tableaux, dessins, aquarelles, pastels, gouaches, miniatures IV (October 1921–July 1922), p. 109, as La Guitar.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, exh. cat. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1933), p. 83, cat. 775.

___, A Century of Progress, exh. cat. (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1934), p. 52, cat. 346.

Jacques Seligmann and Company, Retrospective Loan Exhibition: Juan Gris, exh. cat. (New York: Jacques Seligmann and Company, 1938), n. p., cat. 1 (ill.), as Nature Morte a la Guitare.

Arts Club, Retrospective Exhibition: Juan Gris, exh. cat. (Chicago: Arts Club, 1939), n. p., cat. 23, as Nature Morte a la Guitare.

___, Variety in Abstraction, exh. cat. (Chicago: Arts Club, 1946), n. p., cat. 24, as Nature Morte a la Guitar.

Cincinnati Art Museum, Juan Gris, exh. cat. (Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati Art Museum, 1948), n. p., cat. 7, as Still Life with Guitar.

San Francisco Museum of Art, Picasso, Gris, Miro: The Spanish Masters of Twentieth Century Painting, exh. cat. (San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Art, 1948), p. 77, cat. 24 (ill.).

Aznar, Jose Camón, “Juan Gris y sus Etapas,” Goya 3 (November–December 1954), p. 158, fig. 3, as Guitarra y Copa.

___, Picasso y el Cubismo (Madrid, 1956), p. 58, fig. 26, as Guitarra y Copa.
The Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report (1960–1961) cover (ill.).

Speyer, A. James, “Twentieth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture,” Apollo LXXXIV:55 (September 1966), p. 225, pl. IX.

Grung, Sandra, Supplement to Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1971), p. 47.

Gaya-Nuño, Juan Antonio, Juan Gris (Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 1974), pp. 209 and 243, no. 246 (ill.), as Guitar with Wine-Glass.

Cooper, Douglas, Juan Gris (Pris: Berggruen, 1977), pp. 80–81, no. 45 (ill.), as Guitare et Verre.

Speyer, A. James and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth-Century European Paintings (Chicago, 1980), p. 45, pl. 2A9.

Wood, James N., Treasures of 19th-and 20th-Century Painting: The Art Institute of Chicago (New York: Abbeville Press, 1993), p. 214 (ill.).

Paloma Esteban Leal, Juan Gris: Paintings and Drawings 1910-1927 (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2005), pp. 41-42, cat. 28, (ill.), as Guitar and Glass.

Ownership History

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884–1979), acquired directly from the artist, 1913 [correspondence with Maurice Jardot of Galerie Louise Leiris of August 1976 in curatorial file]. Sold, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 3rd Kahnweiler sequestration sale, July 4, 1922, lot 98, as La Guitare. Flora Schofield (1873-1960), Chicago, by 1933 [Chicago 1933]; sold, Hanzl Galleries, Chicago, February 26, 1961, lot 50, to the Art Institute.




View mobile website