Coffee Grinder and Glass
1915 Oil on paperboard
In this jewel-like still life, the letters "Le J" refer to Le Journal—the Paris newspaper that Juan Gris depicted in lavender on the blue top of a black table. The window blinds, coffee grinder, and wine or aperitif glass suggest that the setting may be a Paris café. The still life was a favored subject for Gris, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and other Cubists. However, their paintings are not at all still! Instead, forms are broken up and overlaid. Tabletops tilt upward, and perspective is reversed. Cubist artists, like their contemporaries in science and mathematics, explored new ideas about time, space, and motion.