Under the influence of Fauvism

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Fauvism

In trying to push the language of collage I draw great inspiration and courage from the Fauves (wild beasts).  These ‘wild beasts’ are my heroes: Derain, Matisse, Braque, Vlamink, Manguin amongst others. The Fauvists didn’t have a  formal manifesto but the basic principles of Fauvism were that there be a purity and economy of approach. Despite the fact that representation was often  flat, an illusion of depth was created by a specific arrangement of the forms.  Space was  constructed with colour.  So technique generally was simplified.  As a style of painting Fauvism was distinguished also for non-naturalistic colours and shapes. This resonates directly with my approach to collage;  the fact that my palette is coloured paper necessitates a simplification of  technique and the collage process of cutting out the shapes requires a vigilant consciousness of form, plane and line; much time is spent creating the illusion of depth by the arrangement of the coloured and cut out shapes.  Like the Fauvists I relish the sheer joy of colour. This is a quick snapshot of a current piece on canvas that I’ve been working on, called ‘Landscape of the Fauves’. Fauve Forest (Diary) The editors of a book I have on Derain say of his painting,  ‘Road in the Mountains’: ‘The picture seems to be put together of intricate and sharply outlined colour cutouts arranged against a background of “aquarelle” sky, foreshadowing, as it were, the birth of the collage’ (my emphasis).  I was delighted to find this description, which seemed like an encouragement from afar, particularly since ‘Road in the Mountains’ and his painting ‘Landscape in Cassis’  are two of my favourite works.