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Henri Matisse and Fauvism

David Gariff, senior lecturer, National Gallery of Art.At the 1905 Salon d’Automne, an annual exhibition in Paris dedicated to vanguard art, Henri Matisse showed Open Window, Collioure alongside works by his disciples of the moment, including André Derain, Albert Marquet, and Maurice de Vlaminck. One critic, seeing an academic sculpture in the middle of the room, exclaimed, “Donatello chez les fauves!”–Donatello among the wild beasts!–and the first “ism” of the 20th century was born. Today Fauvist paintings are celebrated as the epitome of pleasure, a virtual vacation to the south of France, where the movement was born in the summer of 1905. As part of the series Celebrating the East Building: 20th-Century Art, senior lecturer David Gariff explores the seminal roles that Matisse, his followers, and the short-lived Fauvist movement played in the development of 20th-century expressionism. This lecture was presented on July 19, 2018, at the National Gallery of Art.