The Man at the Café

Artist:
Juan Gris (Spanish, Madrid 1887–1927 Boulogne-sur-Seine)
Date:
Paris, 1914
Medium:
Oil and newsprint collage on canvas
Dimensions:
39 × 28 1/4 in. (99.1 × 71.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Promised Gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection
Not on view
Gris’s largest and most celebrated collage from 1914 features a man with a stein of beer, reading the newspaper Le Matin, the pages of which are held together by a stick with teardrop-shaped ends. Though we can see his fedora, his face is hidden by the ingeniously cut-and-pasted newspaper fragments containing part of an article titled “The Bertillon Method / One will no longer be able to make fake works of art.” Alphonse Bertillon was a famed French criminal investigator who championed the forensic science of fingerprinting. The article posits that artists should be required to register their fingerprints, which then could be compared to ones found on any given canvas, rendering forgeries impossible. The presence of this shadowy figure, whose own fingers are colored a spectral blue, suggests otherwise.
Inscription: Signed (verso, lower left): Juan Gris
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, 1914; photo no. 5059; sequestered Kahnweiler stock, December 12, 1914–23; fourth Kahnweiler sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 7, 1923, no. 293, as "Le bock," sold for Fr 150, to an unidentified bidder probably for Galerie Simon]; [Galerie Simon (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris, from 1923; inv. no. 03379, photo no. 5059, as "La dame au café"]; [André Lefèvre, Paris]; [Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York, January 1950 (owned or consigned; listed for $11,500)]; [Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, probably by March 1950]; Leigh B. and Mary Block, Chicago (by 1953–77; sold in December 1977 to Acquavella); [William Acquavella, New York, 1977–2006; sold in August 2006 to Lauder]; Leonard A. Lauder, New York (from 2006)

New York. Jacques Seligmann & Co. "Retrospective Loan Exhibition: Juan Gris (1887–1927)," November 21–December 10, 1938, no. 3 (as "Nature morte, Le Matin").

Arts Club of Chicago. "Retrospective Exhibition: Juan Gris (1887–1927)," January 3–27, 1939, no. 17 (as "Nature morte, Le Matin").

New York. Buchholz Gallery, Curt Valentin. "Juan Gris," January 16–February 11, 1950, no. 4.

New York. Sidney Janis Gallery. "XXth Century Old Masters," March 1950.

New York. Sidney Janis Gallery. "5th Anniversary Exhibition," September 29–October 31, 1953, no. 17 (as "La dame au café").

Washington, D.C. National Gallery of Art. "100 European Paintings & Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block," May 4–June 11, 1967, no. 57 (as "Figure Seated in a Café").

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "100 European Paintings & Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block," September 21–November 2, 1967, no. 57.

Boston. Museum of Fine Arts. "One Hundred European Paintings & Drawings from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Leigh B. Block," February 2–April 14, 1968, no. 57 (as "Figure Seated in a Café").

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Cubist Epoch," December 15, 1970–February 21, 1971, no. 115.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Cubist Epoch," April 9–June 7, 1971, no. 115.

London. Tate Gallery. "The Essential Cubism, 1907–1920: Braque, Picasso & their friends," April 27–July 10, 1983, extended to July 31, 1983, no. 66.

Washington, D.C. National Gallery of Art. "Juan Gris," October 16–December 31, 1983, no. 22.

University Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley. "Juan Gris," February 1–April 8, 1984, no. 22.

New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Juan Gris," May 18–July 15, 1984, no. 22.

New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Aspects of Collage, Assemblage and the Found Object in Twentieth Century Art," March 29–May 22, 1988, no. 47.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "High and Low: Modern Art, Popular Culture," October 7, 1990–January 15, 1991, unnumbered cat. (fig. 49).

Art Institute of Chicago. "High and Low: Modern Art, Popular Culture," February 20–May 12, 1991, unnumbered cat.

Los Angeles. Museum of Contemporary Art. "High and Low: Modern Art, Popular Culture," June 21–September 15, 1991, unnumbered cat.

Madrid. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. "Juan Gris: Paintings and Drawings 1910–1927," June 22–September 19, 2005, no. 40.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015, no. 22.

Tristan Tzara. "Le papier collé ou le proverbe en peinture." Cahiers d'art 6 (1931), ill. p. 69, as "Au café," 1913.

"Une Conférence de Juan Gris." Cahiers d'art 8 (1933), ill. p. 185.

Christian Zervos. Histoire de l'art contemporain. Paris, 1938, ill. p. 240, as" Nature morte," 1913.

Retrospective Loan Exhibition: Juan Gris (1887–1927). Exh. cat., Jacques Seligmann & Co. New York, 1938, unpaginated, no. 3, ill.

Retrospective Exhibition: Juan Gris (1887–1927). Exh. cat., Arts Club of Chicago. Chicago, 1939, unpaginated, no. 17.

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Juan Gris: Sa vie, son oeuvre, ses écrits. 4th ed. Paris, 1946, p. 339, pl. XI.

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Juan Gris: His Life and Work. New York, 1947, p. 169, pl. 19.

Juan Gris. Exh. cat., Buchholz Gallery. New York, 1950, unpaginated, no. 4, ill.

5th Anniversary Exhibition. Exh. cat., Sidney Janis Gallery. New York, 1953, unpaginated, no. 17, ill., and fig. 64 (installed in the exhibition “XXth Century Old Masters,” Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1950).

Sidney Geist. "The First Five Years, or Janis Shows a Picture." Arts Magazine 28 (October 1953), p. 17, as "La Dame au Café".

Frank Elgar. "Une conquête du Cubisme: Le papier collé." XXe Siècle no. 6 (January 1956), ill. p. 15, as "Le Matin".

Harriet Janis and Rudi Blesh. Collage: Personalities, Concepts, Techniques. Philadelphia, 1962, p. 286, fig. 30.

100 European Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1967, unpaginated (list of illustrations), no. 57, ill.

100 European Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts. Boston, 1968, unpaginated (list of illustrations), no. 57, ill.

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Juan Gris: His Life and Work. New York, 1969, p. 316, ill. p. 260 (Spanish ed., 1971, pp. 94, 399, ill. p. 95).

Francine du Plessix. "The Flawless Eye: Mary and Leigh Block." The Collector in America. Ed. Jean Lipman. New York, 1970, p. 112, ill. p. 113 (on display in the residence of Leigh B. and Mary Block, Chicago), as "La Dame au café".

Douglas Cooper. The Cubist Epoch. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. London, 1970, p. 288, no. 115, pl. 230.

Nicholas Wadley. Cubism. London, 1970, pp. 82–83, ill. no. 86.

Roland Penrose and John Golding, ed. Picasso in Retrospect. New York, 1973, p. 276, ill. nos. 103, 104, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Robert Rosenblum. "Picasso and the Typography of Cubism." Picasso in Retrospect. Ed. Roland Penrose and John Golding. New York, 1973, pp. 64–65, ill. nos. 103, 104 (detail), as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Juan Antonio Gaya-Nuño. Juan Gris. Barcelona, 1974, p. 243, no. 291, ill. p. 212, as "En el café".

Juan Antonio Gaya-Nuño. Juan Gris. Boston, 1975, p. 247, no. 291, ill. p. 216, as "At the Café".

Winthrop Judkins. Fluctuant Representation in Synthetic Cubism: Picasso, Braque, Gris, 1910–1920. PhD diss., Harvard University. New York, 1976, pp. 142, 336, pl. K-G 19, ill. p. 481.

Douglas Cooper with Margaret Potter. Juan Gris: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint. Paris, 1977, vol. 1, pp. XVI, 126, no. 76, ill. p. 127, as probably February 1914.

Anne d'Harnoncourt. "The Cubist Cockatoo: A Preliminary Exploration of Joseph Cornell's Homages to Juan Gris." Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 74, no. 321 (June 1978), p. 6, fig. 9, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Robert Rosenblum. "Picasso and the Typography of Cubism." Picasso in Retrospect. Ed. John Golding and Roland Penrose. New York, 1980, p. 41.

Malcolm Gee. Dealers, Critics, and Collectors of Modern Painting: Aspects of the Parisian Art Market Between 1910 and 1930. PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art. New York, 1981, appendix F, p. 69, no. 54.

Alvin R. Martin in Isabelle Monod-Fontaine with E. A. Carmean, Jr. Braque: The Papiers Collés. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Washington, D.C., 1982, p. 72, fig. 53 (French ed., p. 54, fig. 11 [as "Le Matin"]), as "Le Matin".

Douglas Cooper and Gary Tinterow. The Essential Cubism: Braque, Picasso & their friends, 1907–1920. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1983, p. 154, no. 66, ill. p. 155.

Mark Rosenthal. Juan Gris. Exh. cat., University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley. New York, 1983, pp. 58, 178, no. 22, ill. p. 59.

Robert Hughes. "World of Fantasy and Analysis." Time 122 (November 7, 1983), ill. p. 86.

Francis Watson. "The Legacy of Two Artists." Antique Dealer and Collectors' Guide (June 1983), ill. p. 72.

Lewis Kachur in Juan Gris (1887–1927). Ed. Gary Tinterow. Exh. cat., Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Madrid, 1985, p. 35, fig. 3.

Gert Schiff. Picasso at Work at Home: Selections from the Marina Picasso Collection, with Additions from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Exh. cat., Center for the Fine Arts. Miami, 1985, p. 41, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Diane Kelder. The Great Book of Post-Impressionism. New York, 1986, pp. 295–96, fig. 319.

Patricia Leighten. Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897–1914. Princeton, 1989, pl. 101.

Kirk Varnedoe in Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnik. High and Low: Modern Art, Popular Culture. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1990, p. 44, fig. 49.

Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnik. High & Low: Moderne Kunst un Trivialkultur. Exh. cat.Munich, 1990, pp. 30, 32, fig. 46, as in the collection of Mrs. William R. Aquavella.

Eva Demski. "Wörter: Ein Zeitungsfetzen stellt das Bild zur Rede." Art: Das Kunstmagazin no. 1 (January 1991), ill. p. 62.

Christine Poggi. In Defiance of Painting: Cubism, Futurism, and the Invention of Collage. New Haven, 1992, p. 158, fig. 97.

Diane Waldman. Collage, Assemblage, and the Found Object. New York, 1992, p. 47, pl. 49.

Deborah Solomon. Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell. New York, 1997, p. 263, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Dawn Ades. Surrealist Art: The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. London, 1997, p. 77, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Don Quaintance in Joseph Cornell/Marcel Duchamp...in Resonance. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1998, p. 259, fig. 172.

Mark Antliff and Patricia Leighten. Cubism and Culture. New York, 2001, p. 193, ill. no. 161.

Diane Waldman. Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams. New York, 2002, p. 100, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Paloma Esteban Leal in Juan Gris: Paintings and Drawings 1910–1927. Ed. Paloma Esteban Leal. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Madrid, 2005, vol. 1, unpaginated, no. 40, ill., vol. 2, p. 55, no. 40, ill., as probably February 1914.

Jennie-Rebecca Falcetta. "Acts of Containment: Marianne Moore, Joseph Cornell, and the Poetics of Enclosure." Journal of Modern Literature 29, no. 4 (Summer 2006).

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan. Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination. Exh. cat., Washington, D. C. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Salem, Massachusetts and New Haven and London, 2007, p. 274, as "Figure Seated in a Café".

Paz García Ponce de León. Juan Gris: La pasión por el Cubismo. Madrid, 2008, p. 252, ill. p. 253.

"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 "Figure Seated in a Café (Man at a Table)".

Patricia Leighten. The Liberation of Painting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris. Chicago, 2013, pp. xv, 138, pl. 19, as "Figure in a Café".

Anne Théry in Joseph Cornell et les surréalistes à New York. Ed. Matthew Affron and Sylvie Ramond. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon. Paris and Lyon, 2013, p. 48.

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, pp. XV, xxxvii, 138–39, no. 76, ill., as probably February 1914.

Emily Braun in Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 126, 128–30, 311(3)nn.16, 18, no. 22, ill. p. 129 (color), fig. 55 ("Le Matin" page used in "The Man at the Café").

Anna Jozefacka and Luise Mahler in Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 259–60, figs. 22 (installation photo, Exh. New York 1950), 78 (on display in the residence of Leigh B. and Mary Block, Chicago, ca. 1970).

Emily Braun and Leonard A. Lauder in Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 14–15.

"The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection: A Conversation with Emily Braun and Pepe Karmel." IFAR Journal 16, no. 3 (2015), p. 43, fig. 20 (color).

Philip Segal. The Art of Fact Investigation: Creative Thinking in the Age of Information Overload. New York, 2016, n.p., p. 9, ill. (color) p. 11, fig. 1, and detail ill. back cover.

Mary Clare McKinley. Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell's Homage to Juan Gris. Exh. cat.New York, 2018, pp. 8, 11, 13–15, 25, 27–28, 30, 32, 35, 42, 46–47, 84, 86, nn. 2–3, 8–9, p. 96, ill. (frontispiece, color detail), fig. 1 (color).

Mary Clare McKinley Daniel H. Weiss in Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell's Homage to Juan Gris. Exh. cat.New York, 2018, pp. 6–7.

Newspaper fragment from Le Matin, February 3, 1914