FAUVISM Focus

These artworks are painted by group of early French Modernist artist. This bright cheerful style is called Fauvism which means ‘Wild Beasts’.

What is Modernism?

  • Modernism is the period of art spanning from 1870’s -1970’s.
  • Fauvism is an art style that existed within this period from the 1905-1909.
  • Fauvism can also be seen as a mode of expressionism.

What the Wild Beasts?

  • The group gained their name ‘Wild Beasts’ because their art was considered wild and shocking.
  • Earlier styles of painting represented the visual world and used perspective and focused on representing colour as it appeared in nature.
  • The Fauves rejected the Impressionist palette of soft, shimmering colours in favor of a radical new style, full of strong color and bold distortions.

They were influenced by Gauguin & Van Gogh:

Who are the main Fauve artists?

  • Matisse
  • Derain
  • Vlaminck

HENRI Matisse:

  • Composed large flat patterns of intensely rich colour and vigorous line to make bold, bright decorative pictures
“ I put down my colours without a preconceived plan…I discover the quality of colours in a purely instinctive way.” Henri Matisse, 1905.

Maurice Vlaminck:

  • Used powerful, expressive brushwork and strong contrasts of intense colour
  • Painted expressionistic, stormy landscapes

Andre Derain:

  • Used vibrant colours and expressive brushstrokes.
  • Used invented, unnatural ‘non- descriptive’ colours.

When we analysing artworks we can talk about the structural frame or structural properties. We have looked mainly at the structural characteristics of Fauve paintings.

STRUCTURAL FRAME = HOW AN ARTWORK IS ORGANISED AND CONSTRUCTED, WHAT ELEMENTS OR PRINCIPLES OF ART DOES IT USE?

SO WHAT ARE THE STRUCTURAL PROPERTIES OF FAUVIST WORKS?

They saw colour as their main focus

They used bright, non-descriptive, unnatural colour.

They often used loose, painterly brush strokes.

They painted with bold flat shapes.

The Fauves moved away from the traditions of Impressionism and representation in art, towards abstraction.

In summary, the structural properties are:

  • Colour was their main focus.
  • Bright, non-descriptive, independent colour.
  • Strong loose, painterly brush strokes.
  • Bold flat shapes.
  • Strong bold lines.
  • Distorted and abstracted the subject.
  • Decorative patterns.

When we analysing artworks we can also talk about the subjective elements or features of the work.

SUBJECTIVE FRAME = PERSONAL

SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUBJECTIVE PROPERTIES OF FAUVIST WORKS?

Expressive brushstrokes.

Joyful, carefree mood expressed.

They acted with instinct when choosing colour (rather than descriptive colour).

In summary, the subjective properties are:

  • Expressive brushstrokes.
  • Joyful, carefree mood expressed.
  • Instinctive use of colour (rather than descriptive colour).

Quick Quiz:

  1. What are the main characteristics of Fauvism?
  2. Name the three Fauve artists we looked at?
  3. What does the art term structural mean?
  4. What does the art term subjective mean?
Madeleine Jones

Credits:

Created with images by irinaraquel - "Andre Derain - Boats at Collioure's Harbor" • irinaraquel - "Andre Derain - The Turning Road, L'Estaque" • irinaraquel - "Andre Derain - St. Paul's Cathedral from the Thames" • Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 5727 : André Derain, 1880-1954, Port de Collioure, le cheval blanc, 1905, musée d’Art moderne de Troyes, Aube, Chalmpagne-Ardenne, mercredi 19 juin 2013, 15:36:07" • Allie_Caulfield - "2013-08-07 08-09 Amsterdam 206 Rijksmuseum, Vincent van Gogh, Self portrait"

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