Many Cubist artworks depict dice, game boards, and cards interspersed among bottles of liquor, wineglasses, coffee cups, and newspapers. Gris’s still lifes are not everyday genre scenes, but rather exercises in distillation and design. The patterned checkerboard was one of Gris’s favorite motifs. This gouache is related to a larger painting of the same title in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
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Title:Checkerboard and Playing Cards
Artist:Juan Gris (Spanish, Madrid 1887–1927 Boulogne-sur-Seine)
Medium:Gouache, graphite, and resin on cream-colored wove paper, mounted to paperboard
Dimensions:8 1/4 x 11 3/4 in. (21 x 29.8 cm)
Credit Line:Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, Gift of Leonard A. Lauder, 2016
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Juan Gris
the artist, Paris (1915–ca. 1916; ca. 1916 to Rosenberg); [Léonce Rosenberg, Paris, from ca. 1916]; Gustave and Léon Bollag, Zürich; [Ernest Brown and Phillips, Ltd. (The Leicester Galleries), London, January–May 1, 1929; sold on May 1, 1929 to Seligmann]; [Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., New York, 1929–32, inv. no. M1420; sold on March 11, 1932 for $175, to Harriman]; [Marie Harriman Gallery, New York, from 1932; probably sold to Murphy]; Mrs. Ray Slater Murphy, New York; Alfred H. Barr, Jr., New York (in 1948); [E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc., New York, by 1980–81; sold in December 1981 to Reid & Lefevre]; [Alex Reid & Lefevre Ltd., London, from 1981; sold to Govett]; W. J. R. Govett, London (sold to Reid & Lefevre); [Alex Reid & Lefevre Ltd., London, until 1985; sold in January 1985 to Lauder]; Leonard A. Lauder, New York (1985–2013; transferred on April 8, 2013 to the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Trust); The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Trust, New York (2013–16; gift to MMA)
New York. Marie Harriman Gallery. "Juan Gris," opened February 5, 1932, no. 27 (as "Still Life").
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Juan Gris," April 9–June 1, 1958, unnumbered cat. (p. 57; as "Chessboard").
Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Juan Gris," June 24–July 24, 1958, unnumbered cat.
San Francisco Museum of Art. "Juan Gris," August 11–September 14, 1958, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum. "Juan Gris," September 29–October 26, 1958, unnumbered cat.
Dortmund. Museum am Ostwall. "Juan Gris," October 23–December 4, 1965, no. 120 (as "Schachbrett").
London. Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre Ltd.). "Important XIX & XX Century Works of Art," June 2–July 10, 1982, no. 4.
London. Tate Gallery. "The Essential Cubism, 1907–1920: Braque, Picasso & their friends," April 27–July 10, 1983, extended to July 31, 1983, no. 86 (as "Glass, Playing-cards, Newspaper and Checker-board on a Table," November–December 1915).
Madrid. Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso. "Juan Gris (1887–1927)," September 20–November 24, 1985, no. 128 (as "Vaso, naipes, periódico y damero sobre una mesa").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015, no. 29.
Juan Gris. Exh. cat., Marie Harriman Gallery. New York, 1932, unpaginated, no. 27.
Douglas Cooper. Juan Gris. Exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Bern. Bern, 1955, unpaginated, no. 131.
James Thrall Soby. Juan Gris. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1958, ill. p. 57.
Juan Gris. Exh. cat., Museum am Ostwall. Dortmund, 1965, unpaginated, no. 120, ill.
Douglas Cooper with Margaret Potter. Juan Gris: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint. Paris, 1977, vol. 1, p. 232, no. 155a, ill. p. 233.
Important XIX & XX Century Works of Art. Exh. cat., Lefevre Gallery. London, 1982, p. 10, no. 4, ill. p. 11.
Douglas Cooper and Gary Tinterow. The Essential Cubism: Braque, Picasso & their friends, 1907–1920. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1983, p. 188, no. 86, ill. p. 189.
Ann Temkin inJuan Gris (1887–1927). Ed. Gary Tinterow. Exh. cat., Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Madrid, 1985, p. 310.
Gary Tinterow, ed. Juan Gris (1887–1927). Exh. cat., Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Madrid, 1985, p. 339, no. 128, ill.
"Objects Promised to the Museum during the Year 2012–2013." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, One Hundred Forty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 (2013), p. 46, as "Still Life with a Green Checkerboard," November–December 1915.
Douglas Cooper, with Margaret Potter, updated by Alan Hyman, and Elizabeth Snowden. Juan Gris: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint/ Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1977). San Francisco, 2014, vol. 1, p. 273, no. 155a, ill.
Rebecca Rabinow inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 170, 175, 316 n.21, no. 29, ill. p. 176 (color).
Anna Jozefacka and Luise Mahler inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, p. 265, fig. 29 (installation photo, Exh. New York 1958).
"The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection: A Conversation with Emily Braun and Pepe Karmel." IFAR Journal 16, no. 3 (2015), p. 40, fig. 14A (color).
Rachel Mustalish in Emily Braun and Elizabeth Cowling. Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Tradition. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2022, pp. 77, 79, fig. 69 (color).
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