Friday, November 1, 2013

Fauvism: an early 20th century art movement marked by bold shapes, vivid colors & distorted forms

The word for the day on the word of the day type twitter account I am hooked on was FAUVISM.  Not today, a week or more ago-I've been busy.

I don't think I had ever heard this word before which is just plain sad because I LOVE this word.  Fauvism is...was an art movement, a painting movement really marked by bold shapes & colors, often distorted.  I can think of quite a few paintings that are clearly in this...genre?  Jasper Johns has always been a huge favorite of mine & I thought that was what I was looking at:  Fauvism.  If you are willing to take that leap, maybe you can take this one:  the idea of  African-American quilts being Fauvist.

If you know anything about art history you know I was way off; that is not Fauvism at all.  This is what happens when you start trying to describe not-word things with words only.  Fauvism was almost entirely French & not really all that abstract (when the dictionary says "distorted forms" those forms are still identifiable).  The biggest name in Fauvism is Matisse.  It turns out Fauvism is NOT the word for what I like, although I like Matisse et al plenty. 

This whole business put me in mind of one of my favorite episodes of one of my favorite shows.  The show was News Radio & wow do I miss it!  The episode was "Super Karate Monkey Death Car".  Let me give it to you in a nutshell: the wealthy eccentric owner of a news radio station (among other things) had written an autobiography that did not sell so well in the US but killed in Japan.  So he decides to take the Japanese translation & translate it back to English.  The book reading scene, the first time he actually reads his new autobiography, is a gift to the world.  Seriously there is almost no slump so slumpy this clip cannot shake me out of.

That's it, that's all I've got.  Except I guess I can start calling the art I like, marked by bold shapes, vivid colors & distorted forms Not-Fauvism.  Because that's not confusing. 

1 comment:

  1. I adore the Fauvist period. Once upon a time, I had wanted to have a redheaded, green-eyed daughter so I could name her Fauve. I did get a redheaded, blue eyed little boy...but he has a pretty normal name. :)