The Bottle of Banyuls, 1914. Juan Gris. Cut-and-pasted printed wallpapers, newspaper, wove papers, transparentized paper, printed packaging, oil, crayon, gouache, and graphite on newspaper mounted on canvas. Hermann und Margrit Rupf-Stiftung, Kunstmuseum Bern.
On an outdoor table dappled by colored sunlight, the mouth of a bottle of Banyuls fortified wine appears two ways, sealed by wax and open. Interrupting the pleasurable scene is a newspaper headline with the “terrifying” news of an air balloon whose basket detached and fell into the Tuileries Gardens, threatening death and causing injury. The basketweave pattern of the tabletop underscores that Gris’s choice of papers was never random, but an intricate piece of the narrative design.