Flowers, 1914. Juan Gris. Conté crayon, gouache, oil, wax crayon, cut-and-pasted printed wallpapers, printed wove paper, newspaper, white laid and wove papers on canvas; subsequently mounted on a honeycomb panel. Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, Gift of Leonard A. Lauder, 2021.
Gris’s collages often hint at narrative scenarios, the wallpapers and other elements acting as clues for the viewer. In Flowers, the combination of the “masculine” pipe and the “feminine” bouquet (formed from different flowery papers), along with the wine and coffee, imply a lovers’ meeting. The hand-painted midnight blue surround and the faux marble wallpaper underline the erotic atmosphere. American author Gertrude Stein, who befriended Gris in Paris, acquired Flowers soon after it was created in spring 1914.