History And Context
Juan Gris earned his reputation as a “perfect painter” by creating exquisite cubist pictures notable for their stunning precision, exact proportions, and brilliant use of color. Although Gris did not begin to experiment with cubist principles until 1911, he quickly established himself, alongside Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, as one of cubism’s most eminent exponents.
Still Life with Newspaper has an immaculately smooth finish and derives its strength from a sense of austerity and cool restraint rather than excess. The magnificent stillness so characteristic of the seventeenth-century paintings of Francisco de Zurbarán – an artist whom Gris admired – is present in this taut arrangement of crisply contoured geometric shapes.