The History of Fauvism and Its Affect on Abstract Art

Bold Fauvist Style Art Was Not Without Early Critics

Vivid colors, robust brushstrokes, plain forms, lawless creativity — the fauvist movement was impulsive by nature. It exemplified revolutionary sentiments that fought against the norm. Fauvist artists like Raoul Dufy boasted of radical artistry that went against tradition: “I don’t follow any system. All the laws you can lay down are only so many props to be cast aside when the hour of creation arrives.”

Fauvist style art often depicts seascapes, a French countryside, human portraits, nudes and domestic themes. It delineates figures through vivid colors that are squeezed directly from the tube without being mixed. You’ll find deep reds, complex oranges and bright greens in fauvist paintings, as color instead of technical form remains the focal point.

Many believe that the renegade and expressive style of art mirrored the political and social upheaval that was taking place in Europe. As the restrictive Victorian age gave way to a liberating, enlightened society, art was the perfect embodiment of this transformation.

The daring nature of fauvism earned quite a few critics. The first fauvist art exhibit infuriated the Parisian art world and some critics were angry enough to throw glasses of wine at the paintings. Marcel Dupree was so disgusted, that he vomited outside the gallery and lay in bed sick for several weeks. Despite it’s controversial affect on the art world, fauvism continued on for decades and was a key player in the creation of future art forms.

The fauvist era has long been proceeded by more modern art movements, but its affects have radically influenced abstract art and other styles. Native American artist John Nieto has adopted many of the characteristics of fauvist art in his stunning depictions of Native American themes. Bright colors and simplified figures characterize some of his most famous works of art.

Nieto Fine Art Online Abstract Art Gallery

To see modern day examples of fauvist paintings, check out the John Nieto website and enjoy his online gallery of American Indian paintings. Interested in purchasing a piece of artwork? Contact Nieto Fine Art by calling (415) 347-8173 or send us a message online.