Juan Gris, María Blanchard and the Cubisms (1916-1927)
From 06 October 2017 to 25 February 2018Curated: Eugenio Carmona y Lourdes Moreno
In collaboration with:
This exhibition analyses the survival of Cubism beyond the period in which Picasso and Braque, its creators, gave shape to the movement (1907-1914). For the years between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the 1920s witnessed a new lease of life for this creative experience, which significantly influenced twentieth-century art. During this new stage, the movement was redefined and different artists took over the leading role. The first section of the exhibition features works produced between 1916 and 1918 by two artists who are presented as keys to understanding this second Cubism: Juan Gris, who attained the peak of his synthetic, geometric, flat and pure painting during these years and played an unquestionable part in steering Cubism in a new direction; and María Blanchard, then at the height of her creative maturity and closeness to Gris, though her style was personal and original, dynamic and colourful.
But it was not a single movement; rather, there were as many Cubisms as there were artists who practiced it. The second section highlights the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, the painters Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger, and the poet Vicente Huidobro on account of their friendship and creative rapport with Gris and Blanchard, with whom they shared the same artistic aim, though they each explored their own different path between abstraction and figuration.
Thanks to all these artists, Cubism became established as a language of modernity, which played a significant role among the first avant-garde generation of the 1920s in Spain — Dalí, Moreno Villa, Palencia, Peinado, Ángeles Ortiz and Cossío — to whom the last section of the show is devoted.
Juan Gris, Seated Woman, 1917 (detail), oil on canvas, 116 x 73 cm
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza