Juan Gris (Primary Title)
“In the early days Gertrude Stein brought Juan Gris to my studio,” Man Ray wrote in his autobiography. “He came prepared to be photographed with a high white stiff collar, as if for a family portrait.” Man Ray’s comments help unpack this early portrait of the Spanish Cubist artist, whose jacket, tie, and starched white shirt suggest a formality that is in stark contrast to the radical nature of his paintings. Rather than photograph Gris in front of a plain burlap backdrop, as he did for other sitters, including Havelock Ellis, Tsuguhara Fujita, and James Joyce, Man Ray positioned the Spanish artist underneath a painting, whose ornate frame is visible at the top of the image, and surrounded by decorated wallpaper, a wooden stick, and a banjo. The wallpaper helps date the portrait since it is recognizable as the wallpaper in Man Ray’s apartment-studio at the Grand Hotel des Écoles at 15, rue Delambre, where he stayed until December 1921.
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.