Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I spent yesterday afternoon at the Matisse and the Fauves Exhibition here at the Albertina Museum in Vienna. I must admit the show exceeded my expectations and was much bigger and more expansive than I thought it would be.
According to the MET Museum website,
” Fauvism was the first of the avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early years of the twentieth century. The Fauve painters were the first to break with Impressionism as well as with older, traditional methods of perception. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes and high-keyed, vibrant colors directly from the tube.
As I walked from gallery to gallery studying the highly expressive paintings it hit me that I would have been a Fauve if I lived back at the turn of the 20th Century.
The Fauves really busted loose from all traditional approaches to painting. Their canvases are explosions of disparate and fluid color, painterly, and highly expressive compositions. You can certainly see the Post-Impressionism influences in this work, especially from Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat.
As I meandered through the exhibition I got to thinking that there is something childlike and naive in these fauvist paintings. Matisse said that Fauvism shattered the tyranny of pointillism. These paintings by (Matisse, Andre Derain, George Braque, George Rouault, Raoul Duffy and Maurice Vlaminck) are wilder, more adventurous and visually dynamic than anything that had been done before. These artists broke the chains once and for all of traditional art and explored the purely expressive qualities of color, line and form.
The Fauves were huge risk takers in my opinion. These artists even left some of their paintings unfinished. They simplified their compositions, breaking all the rules of painting with energetic brush strokes, thick layers of paint and an exaggeration of tones and colors. Literally a frenzy of pure, spontaneous color.
I feel a real affinity with these Fauvist painters. At first glance many of these paintings seem visually unsophisticated and raw, but as I scrutinized them further their expressive and emotional intensity is very evident.
Matisse stated…..”What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or disturbing subject matter that can be soothing, calming influence on the mind”
Fauvism lasted only two years, but was the first avant garde movement of the 20th century, of epochal significance for the development of Modernity.
You can view a slide show of a cross section of Fauve paintings by clicking this link. CLICK HERE!
“Most of the works of the young artists, who art critics at the time compared with “fauves” (“wild animals”), are available to view for the first time ever in Vienna and Central Europe.”