Andre Derain (1880-1954)
Andre Derain was born in 1880 in Chatou, an artist colony outside Paris. In 1898, he enrolled in the Academie Carriere in Paris where he met Matisse. He attended art school and in 1900, set up a studio with Maurice de Vlaminck. After his military service from 1900-1904, Derain exhibited his work at the Salon des Independants and then at the Salon d’Automne with Matisse, Vlaminck and others, thus creating the movement of Fauvism.He worked with Henri Matisse in 1905 at Collioure, and participated in the 1905 Salon d’Automne with Matisse, Vlaminck, and Braque, the exhibition in which this group was labeled as Fauves, or Wild Beasts. Along with Vlaminck, Derain was one of the first artists to collect the tribal art of Africa which was influential to many of the artists of the early 20th century.
In 1906, Derain met Picasso and his dealer, who purchased Derain’s entire studio, creating newfound financial success. During this time, he was hired for the illustrations for works by Guillaume Apollinaire and Andre Breton. After World War I, his friend’s Cubism movement affected his art, along with influence from Classicism and African Art.
Derain stayed in Paris during most of the Occupation, where he was esteemed by the Nazis because of his artistic integrity. Hitler’s Foreign Minister commissioned him to paint a family portrait, but he politely refused. His popularity began to decline after the war because of disagreement over new artistic movements. He later lost most of his eyesight due to illness, which may have been the reason he was hit by a truck in 1954, dying from shock at the age of 74.
Derain’s Fauve paintings are typically bright with intense color. Influenced by the work of Cézanne as well as the early Cubist paintings of Picasso and Braque’s, Derain’s style changed and by 1912, the paintings became more traditional and structured. For the remainder of his career, he continued to investigate different compositional methods including the perspective of Cézanne and the pointillism of Seurat. He also designed ballet sets and made a number of sculptures.
At the turn of the century, Andre Derain exhibited at the radical Fauve Salon d’Automne (1905) and was one of the founding members of the Fauvist movement together with his life-long friends Matisse and Vlaminck. The works he produced in this period, often under the guidance of Matisse, have been counted among the masterpieces of Fauvism.
Painting Technique: Oil painting
Painting style: Fauvism
Andre Derain, Fauvism, painting, style, French painter, oil on canvas