Gris studied technical drawing at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904. In this period he also made drawings for local newspapers and magazines.Between 1904 and 1905, he studied painting at José Maria Carbonero. Originally stood under the influence of the German Jugendstil Gris.
In 1906 he moved to Paris where he became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. In 1915 made his friend Amedeo Modigliani a portrait of him. Gris dropped into Paris lead by his friend and fellow countryman Pablo Picasso.
Although Gris illustrations with a key black humor kept submitting to magazines such as Le rire, L'assiette au beurre, Le Charivari , and Le Cri de Paris, he began to paint seriously in1910. From 1911 arose his first oil paintings. He used there monochrome shades and earth tones. From 1913 he began to paint more colorful, but always in Cubist style. From 1913 began also to use the collage technique Gris.
Gris wrote about his art theory. His main reading about this he gave in 1924 to the Sorbonne, under the title Des possibilités de la peinture.
Gris died in the spring of 1927 at the age of 40, to kidney failure. He is survived by his wife Josette behind, and a son, Georges.
A painting by Gris was (for 2005) sold for more than $ 8.4 million.
The work of Gris belongs to the Cubism.
- Glass and bottle, 1913 
- Breakfast, 1914 
- Bottle of rum and newspaper, 1914, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
- Fantômas, 1915 
- Portrait of Max Jacob, 1919 
- The newspaper, May 1919 
- Nature morte, 1920, van Abbemuseum
- Still life with glasses and bottles, 1919 
- The postcard, 1921 
- Mandolin and grapes, 1922 
The Juan Gris's paintings are in various museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Kröller-Müller Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, possesses a few works by him.