More about André Derain
Andre Derain eventually abandoned the artistic styles for which he is now best remembered.
This artist got his name through a guy named Henri Matisse. Together, along with a posse of other French artists, they became some of the first modern painters to break away from the intensely realistic art styles that had dominated the medium since the Renaissance. 'Fauvism' was an avant-garde style defined by the use of vivid, unnaturalistic colors, and personal expression of the artist as opposed to representational realism.
This made Derain the avant-garde of the avant-garde, literally as that particular term was actually created to articulate what it was that artists like Derain were doing. Moreover, this wasn’t the only extreme art movement he was part of. Derain is also credited with contributions to Cubism. This passion wasn’t just for show either, there are records from surviving personal notes that the man was driven to go beyond in terms of artistic creation. So not only was Derain ahead of the curve, but he was ahead of the curve in all the ways one could be ahead of the curve.
Howover, in 1908 Derain broke from both of these movements, making the breakup final in 1910 by destroying his unpublished work. From there he shifted to landscape paintings, done in a much more conservative style. He would ultimately find much better financial success with these paintings, and in 1916 he would have his first solo exhibition in Paris. But through the eyes of history, very little of his work during this time period mattered in the lasting way that his innovations in Fauvism and Cubism did. As a result we end up with two rather dramatic ways to look at his life, he was either a decent artist who gradually worked his way up to financial success, or he was a spectacular artist who abandoned the movements he helped started.
- Warren, Rosanna. "A Metaphysic of Painting: The Notes of Andre Derain." The Georgia Review 32, no. 1 (1978): 94-120. Accessed February 11, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/41397475
- Web Contributor “André Derain” The Guggenheim viewed on 02/11/2020 https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/andre-derain
- Web Contributor “AVANT-GARDE” Tate viewed on 02/11/2020 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/avant-garde
- Web Contributor “André Derain” Musee Orangerie viewed on 02/11/2020 https://www.musee-orangerie.fr/en/artist/andre-derain