Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fauvist flamingos

Flamingos. Oil on canvas, 6x12, $50

I set out yesterday to find a place where I would see the white sky, the white snow and something interesting in between. I loaded up the Miata, and turned to open the driver's side door and saw... our yard.

Over my head, the grey-white sky stretched out, soft and threatening at once. Light held blue in the shadows of the fir trees, and the crusted snow showed only the fewest of shadows. Our two flamingos tipped a little under their mantles of snow. There was no need to go anywhere else.

My brother Rand, looking at the plein-air work of Robin Weiss, ( had an interesting comment. He said that Weiss uses small pieces of color to great effect. And he does.

This is just about the polar opposite of me. I tend to use lots and lots of color, so much so that Carden Holland, an artist and teacher whose work I admire, said she thought I was a fauvist at heart.

I had to look this up, "fauvist." According to "The first of the major avant-garde movements in European 20th century art, Fauvism was characterized by paintings that used intensely vivid, non-naturalistic and exuberant colours.

The style was essentially expressionist, and generally featured landscapes in which forms were distorted. The Fauves first exhibited together in 1905 in Paris. They found their name when a critic pointed to a renaissance-like sculpture in the middle of the same gallery as the exhibition and exclaimed derisively 'Donatello au milieu des fauves!' ('Donatello among the wild beasts!'). The name caught on, and was gleefully accepted by the artists themselves.

The movement was subjected to more mockery and abuse as it developed, but began to gain respect when major art buyers, such as Gertrude Stein, took an interest. The leading artists involved were Matisse, Rouault, Derain, Vlaminck, Braque and Dufy. Although short-lived (1905-8), Fauvism was extremely influential in the evolution of 20th century art."

So, OK. I'll gladly - gleefully, even! - accept a label as a modern day fauve!


Robin Weiss said...

Hi Carrie! Thank you for your kind comments about my blog!!

I love your "Fauvist" (is that a word?) take on the wonderful landscapes that you absolutely have a unique style all your own full of color and movement and expressed joy for doing what you love!

carrie jacobson said...

Hi, Robin, and thank you! I think you've got a growing fan club here in southeast Connecticut.