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Although Impressionism and Post-Impressionism represent the first artistic reactions against tradition and strict academicism, many historians consider the first true avant-garde movement to be Fauvism.
General characteristics. The Autumn Salon of 1905 and the origin of the term 'Fauvism'
It begins to develop from the Autumn Salon 1905, in which artists such as Henri Matisse, Albert Marquese and Henri Manguin exhibited a series of vibrant works, violent for purity and chromatic chrontrasetes, in which color was the main protagonist.
The enormous importance of this Hall of Rejects, as they called the reactionary exhibitions outside the official and academic exhibitions of the Paris Salons, led to many other "isms" that would make up what we call as historical artistic vanguards.
The term Fauvism comes from the emblematic phrase that the critic Louis Vauxcelles pronounced in that Salon when contemplating a sculpture by Albert Marque exhibited in that Autumn Salon:Donatello in the cage of beasts!. The word "beast", or ‘Fauve’in French, it perfectly symbolized aggressiveness and strength transmitted by these works.
Fauvism, although it was not formed by a homogeneous group (except during the Salon of 1905) and its duration would not be very long, it would be for many artists the best way to access the avant-garde trend, through the exploration of the possibilities of color. Many artists experienced an initial Fauvist phase and later developed their own avant-garde experience.
The autonomy of color and the conception of harmony in Fauvism
The characteristics of this direct reaction against tradition were very well explained by its predecessors, especially Matisse in his workNotes from a painterout of 1908. The Fauvists went a bit beyond Post-Impressionist painting, seeking the total color autonomy.
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If in academicism color is subject to the rules of mimetic representation of nature, that is, an exact reproduction of what our senses perceive from the natural environment, in Fauvism what is sought is that color serves as a medium to channel the artist's subjectivity.
This means eliminating the chromatic conditions that limit the expressive capacity of the artist to what is seen in nature, and replacing it with strong con contrasts of pure and vivid colors, bright and vibrant that reflect your subjectivity.
But this does not imply an arbitrary use of color ranges, as Fauvist painting developed its own concept of harmony and beauty. Fauvist harmony was based on the contrasts and oppositions of complementary colors, cold and warm, dark and bright.
If color stands as the main protagonist at the service of the artist's subjectivity, shapes and composition become simpler, since the main purpose is to invoke in the viewer a sensory experience through these chromatic contrasts.
This aggressiveness is also expressed through thick brushstrokes applied violently, which in many cases recall works by Van Gogh such as The starry Night or Night coffee. The theme was very diverse, with a close relationship with outdoor painting practiced in Impressionism and successive.
The Fauvist painting: Henri Matisse (1869-1954).
Fauvism developed mainly in painting. Although some experts speak of a Fauvist sculpture, pictorial art served as an ideal means to channel the protagonism of color.
The figure of the Fauvist painting par excellence is the one already mentioned Matisse Y his trajectory perfectly represents the evolution towards the autonomy of color.
French painter born in 1869, originally developed a much more subdued painting, closer to the impressionist, than the one he would do in the early years of the 20th century.
Cézzane's still lifes and still lifes and Van Gogh's own brushstroke movement would be the main influences at this early stage, with works such as Vase of sunflowers, which are reminiscent to a certain extent of those of the Dutch painter, due to their blurred shapes, a trend that will later continue in his Fauvist stage.
Likewise, theWoman reading out of 1894 It stands out for its baroque style in the color range of browns and greens, in a concept much closer to what was liked by the bourgeoisie. In this work you can see a much more defined treatment of the drawing and a much more rational composition than what he would do years later.
It is remarkable the aura of mystery that surrounds the work through the woman sitting with her back to the viewer, whose face we do not know. The application of color is somewhat reminiscent of neo-impressionist pointillism, especially in the filling of the walls and the woman's black dress.
Around 1900, his painting becomes much more chromatic, rich in color contrasts. WithCrockery on a table From 1900, which could be the hinge between the Impressionist and the Fauvist, he begins to give more importance to the contrast of colors. The Salon of 1905 was the catapult for his art to be recognized, even if only by a minority.
And it will be the works exhibited there that will determine the guidelines of the Fauvist movement, as well as the harmonious and autonomous conception of the contrast of colors and the disfigurement of forms.
The visual effect that Matisse reflects in his works is the mosaic of colors, which he achieves with the contrast between reds and greens, violets and yellows. In portraits, likeGreen stripe portrait(1905), What prevails is not the three-dimensionality and the representation of different planes, but the chromatic richness.
For this reason, he does not exempt himself from using the same colors in the character represented in the foreground as in the background of the painting, with uniform compositions in two dimensions.
In the outdoor landscapes and in the window-themed paintings, he also applies the flat character of perspective, blending the near with the far, eliminating volumes in favor of color. Notable works such as Open window (1905) or Blue window (1913).
Of special mention are theLandscapes of Collioure (1905), which constitutes a true visual tornado of chromatic contrasts without form, space or perspective, going beyond the Fauvist and almost bordering on abstraction.
Another theme that was around Matisse's head for a long time was the naked outdoors, of great impressionist influence. The exterior nude in Matisse is justified by music and dance, with anatomical figures of great simplicity, which dance in a poorly defined nocturnal environment. For example, we see it in the two emblematic versions of The dance from 1909 and 1910, or in Music from 1910.
Since the years 20 to 40, Matisse begins to collaborate with French artists and of many other nationalities. He experiences, like many avant-garde contemporaries, the eclecticism of his art. In other words, he began to apply influences from other movements, techniques, and avant-gardes to his artistic method. For example, in the last years of his career, his desire to seek synthesis, the suppression of lines and shapes, led him to develop the collage technique, which he applies in his series Jazz (1947).
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Even though Matisse is the exponential maximum of the Fauvist movementWe cannot conclude the painting of this avant-garde without referring to other great painters who applied the theory of the autonomy of color in their works. As we have said, many artists first experienced the Fauvist color and then entered other avant-garde experiences.
André Derain (1880-1954).
From the stronghold of the Hall of 1905 we can mention André Derain and his Candle drying (1905) or the London bridge (1906).
The first reminds the Print. Rising Sun of Monet in how liquid painting is and in the use of the aquatic environment and its reflection to create a blurred environment. Apply the same methods as Matisse in contrasting complements, combining the architectural environment of the port with a natural background.
The characters that circulate along the promenade lack personalization and portraiture, since what interests them is the harmonic multi-color game and not the faithful representation of nature.
Romantic, in the artistic sense of the word. In my adolescence both family and friends reminded me over and over that I was an inveterate humanist, as I spent time doing what perhaps others not so much, believing myself to be Bécquer, immersed in my own artistic fantasies, in books and movies, constantly wanting to travel and explore the world, admired for my historical past and for the wonderful productions of the human being. That is why I decided to study History and combine it with Art History, because it seemed to me the most appropriate way to carry out the skills and passions that characterize me: reading, writing, traveling, researching, knowing, making known, educating. Disclosure is another of my motivations, because I understand that there is no word that has real value if it is not because it has been transmitted effectively. And with this, I am determined that everything I do in my life has an educational purpose.