Cubism and Fauvism


Cubism and fauvism refer to artistic techniques used in the early 20th century. Fauvism was first used in Paris 1905 in the Autumn Salon in reference to the artwork by Henri Matisse and his accomplices in art such as André Derain and Maurice Vlaminck. When the fauvist art was exhibited in the Autumn Salon, a critique called it 'Les Fauves' (Wild animals). This title was derived from their use of very strong colors that did not give the natural color representation of the object. However, the use of the colors was aimed at evoking strong emotions. On the other hand, cubism was Picasso and Georges Braque’s way of presenting objects from a simultaneous perspective at different points of view. This artistic technique abridged sculpture and painting. However, unlike in fauvism, color was not of primary interest in cubism.


Developed in 1905, Fauvism was characterized by explosive use of colors augmented with an impulsive brushwork. This was an advancement of the colorist tradition that was first held by the Impressionists (the Impressionists were known for using short brush strokes with pure color in combination with flat colored curvilinear planes that were probably inspired by Gaugin). Therefore, the use of color in fauvism made the art to generate its own energy through the stark juxtapositions from the use of complementary hues. The brushwork was generally sketchy, and the arbitrary colors helped to emphasize the harsh and dissonant wild artistic effect. Although some of the works reveal modern urban alienation themes, they can also be seen to draw a lot from the Africa primitive art, the Pre-Columbian America era, and the Oceania era.


With the inception dated back in the 1900s-1910s, cubism can be distinguished by the use of splintered shapes in a generally flattened space done in geometric color blocks. It stands out as a quest for a new painting concept that included an arrangement of arbitration of form and color. These were done on two-dimensional painting surfaces using multiple angles. The reconstructed objects in the paintings emphasized the battle between perceptions of the eyes and the mind. It emphasizes the battle of sight and knowledge based on the theory of relativity developed by Einstein.


Therefore, the most significant difference in the early 20th century artistic techniques is the use of painting to reveal the perceptions of nature. While the fauvist painters use wild colors to reveal energy and evoke emotions, the cubist painters use geometric shapes to reveal the relativist conflict between sight and knowledge.