Fauvism Essay

980 words - 4 pages

FauvismFor artists, the twentieth century began five years late. Late it might have been, but when it got going, it was decades ahead of it's time. In 1905 nothing was as "modern" as modern art. It was to remain that way throughout the century. There are many people who still fail to understand the art introduced in 1905, over seventy years ago.That first "modern" art appeared in an exhibition in Paris in 1905. Among the participating artists was one of the century's most famous, Hentri Matisse. Along with Matisse's art were works by Maurice de Vlaminck, Andre Derain, and Georges Rouault. Today the works of these artists hang in museums, but in 1905 they weren't yet famous. To the public they were infamous. Their paintings were so shocking that one newspaper critic called them the work of "Fauves" a French word meaning "wild beasts." The name stuck so that all the artists who exhibited in that 1905 show were ever after called Fauves and their paintings were dubbed Fauve art.The name "Fauve" was given to the art of Matisse, Vlaminck, and their colleagues, even though they didn't work with a common principle. And, as years passed, their personal art changed. Paintings done by some at the end of their careers little resembled those done at the beginning. Still, the name. "Fauve" continued to be used. These were the pioneering artists of the twentieth century and their art, Fauve painting, was the pioneering movement of our century.TheoryThe fauve artists had no single or unifying principle of art. Perhaps that was necessary for the century's pioneering movement. Their one basic theory was experimentation. That's what shocked the 1905 French Public. Their art was so experimental that it resembled nothing gallery visitors had ever seen before. Fauve art doesn't seem so radical today. That's because their interest in experimentation became the guiding principle of almost all twentieth century art movements. Experimentation in art has meant discovering new types of visual expression. It can be the general theory guiding all the art projects you try in this book. It was originally a fauve principle.However, if most twentieth-century art movements have been guided by experimentation, those experiments have been controlled by further theories. The leading Fauve theoretician was Henri Matisse. His colleagues followed many of his ideas, and his thoughts about art inspired many twentieth-century art developments. To gain an understanding of Fauve art, you can do no better then examine the art and ideas of Matisse. Nor can you find any better guide for developing your own art. Here is what Matisse once said about his art.Expression is what I'm seeking most of all ...however, expression doesn't mean the passion which a human face reflects. The total composition of my painting is expressive. My arrangement of figures or objects, the empty spaces surrounding them, their proportions, everything has its roll to play.Except for Georges Roualt,...

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