In Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes’s machine pictures, painted gears, shafts, and wires create obscure contraptions suggesting that the forces of production have run amok. The words included compound the enigma: the name of a Hungarian city, Szegedin, appears on Silence (1915), for example. For Ribemont-Dessaignes, like many other artists associated with Dada, performance was a key strategy. Dadaists held poetry readings, soirées and other live theatrical events. The artist’s sensational performances at a number of these Paris-held events revealed his combative side: he hurled insults at the audiences, promising to “rip out your spoiled teeth, your pummeled ears [and] your tongue full of sores.”
Juan Gris (1887 – 1927), a master of disguised images, presents a table brimming with coffee cups, stemmed wineglasses, a large white-footed fruit compote (see from the side and from above) containing thickly painted grapes, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of Bass extra stout ale with its distinctive red diamond logo, a newspaper, and a guitar. Yet, Still Life with Checked Tablecloth (1915) has another equally compelling identity: a Bull’s head. The coffee cup at lower center doubles as the animal’s snout, black-and-white concentric circle at left is a “bull’s eye,” the bottle of ale is an ear, and the sinuous edge of the guitar is the horn. The letters “EAU” on the wine label, which ostensibly stand for “bEAUjolais” can just as easily represent “taurEAU” (Bull).
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
In the distinct brand of cubism that he developed while living temporarily in Paris, Diego Rivera used small dots of color, a technique known as Pointillism, to amplify contrasts in texture and pattern. Here, the sleek bottle of green liquid, presumably absinthe, and shiny metal spoon, necessary for preparing the potent drink, are paired against a strip of camouflage tablecloth, a reference to World War I. Additionally, Rivera includes references to his homeland, such as the cigar box with a partial label reading BENITO JUA underneath a miniature Mexican Landscape. This label refers to Benito Juarez, the president of Mexico from1858 until his death in 1872.
The Cafe Terrace is apart of the Permanent Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
The Legendary Les Paul, father of the modern, solid body electric guitar and inventor of numerous ground breaking audio recording techniques, was born on this day, June 9th, in 1915. Happy Birthday, Les!