André Derain French, 1880-1954
André Derain was a major influence in the development of modern art.
A painter, sculptor and print-maker, he will remain associated as one of the founding member of the Fauvism movement, which was characterized by the use of strident, alluring and expressive colours combined with dynamic brushwork.
André Derain studied painting in Paris at the Académie Carriere from 1898 to 1899.
Following his meeting with Henri Matisse, one of his fellow student at the School, and with Maurice de Vlaminck in 1900, the three artists, fascinated by a conscious and emotional approach of the subject matter, will probe into new forms of composition, emphasising the expressive character of colours.
Influenced by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, but also by the Pointillist work of Georges Seurat, the group of artists will opt for the use of unrestrained brushwork and strident colours.
Their experiment will eventually usher into the development of the Fauvist movement, which will last from 1904 to 1908.
Characterised by spontaneous brushstroke and the use of large patches of earth-colours, this movement epitomize the role of colour and was a stepping stone for the development of future art movements such as Cubism, and Abstraction.
In 1906, André Derain following his gallerist – Ambroise Vollard- recommendations, will go to London, where following the example of artist Claude Monet, he will paint views of the Thames.
1908 marks a significant shift in André Derain’s artistic career.
The artist moved away from Fauvism movement and began his research on neoclassicism forms of painting. Influenced by Cezanne’s geometric works, and Old Masters, the artist developed a new form of ethereal, timeless compositions.
Imbibing other artistic practice such as Primitive art, the artist’s later portrait, still-lifes and nudes, conveys more subtle and contemplative features.
André Derain, through his career, has displayed a profound interest in the intertwining relationship between the individual emotional perception and the artistic creation, and for his constant venturing into new painting reflections, will remain a significant influence for the forthcoming modern and contemporary artists.
The artist’s work is included in numerous museums around the world such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art New York; National Gallery, London; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.