WebMuseum

Gris, Juan

Image The Bottle of Banyuls


In The Bottle of Banyuls, Gris established an opposition a la Picasso in the construction of the bottle by juxtaposing partly overlapping, contradictory formal elements: an opaque, straight-edged shape lies beneath and slightly to the left of a transparent, curvilinear shape. Gris enhanced this difference by giving the straight-edged, speckled bottle a flipped-up, round top, in contrast to its striped alternate, which displays a flat top. Yet this opposition, which negates the possibility of a transparent or unambiguous relation between the pictorial signifier and its referent, is in turn undermined by Gris's use of materials. For Gris, characteristically, has used the transparency of a certain kind of paper to signify the transparency of glass. There is, therefore, in this and many other Gris collages, an ambiguity in the way pictorial forms and materials are understood to signify; at times they seem to operate according to arbitrary formal oppositions (which deny the possibility of a substantive relation between signifier and referent), while at other times they seem to be motivated by the inherent properties of material substances.
-- Christine Poggi, In Defiance of Painting
14 Jul 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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