1.5.1.4 Naive Art (1885- )

Forward to 1.5.1.5 Modern Art (1912- ) – Forward to 1.5.2 Arts and Crafts Index (1868-1910)
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Back to 1.5 Modern Art Index (1860-1930)

QUICK LINKS:
Carnival Evening, Rousseau
The Sleeping Gypsy, Rousseau
Feast of the Malakans, Pirosmani
Repast of the Lion, Rousseau
House with the Palm Tree, Miró
The Farm, Miró
Creation, Rivera

Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, Kahlo
Coming from the Mill, Lowry
Agrarian Leader Zapata, Rivera
Self Portrait Cropped Hair, Kahlo
Three Black Cats. Lewis
The Collector, Botero
The Domino Players, Fuster
The Dream, Rousseau

Naïve art is usually defined as visual art that is created by a person who lacks the formal education and training that a professional artist undergoes (in anatomy, art history, technique, perspective, ways of seeing). When this aesthetic is emulated by a trained artist, the result is sometimes called primitivism, pseudo-naïve art,[ or faux naïve art.

Naïve art is recognized, and often imitated, for its childlike simplicity and frankness. Paintings of this kind typically have a flat rendering style with a rudimentary expression of perspective. One particularly influential painter of ‘naïve art’ was Henri Rousseau (1844–1910), a French Post-Impressionist who was discovered by Pablo Picasso.

The definition of the term, and its neighbouring terms such as folk art and outsider art, has been a matter of some controversy. Naïve art is a term usually used for the forms of fine art, such as paintings and sculptures, but made by a self-taught artist, while objects with a practical use come under folk art. But this distinction has been disputed. Another term that may be used, especially of paintings and architecture, is “provincial”, essentially used for work by artists who had received some conventional training, but whose work unintentionally falls short of metropolitan or court standards.

[Source: Wikimedia commons]

[1514-10]


Image source: Wikimedia commons
An air of mystery pervades this wintry forest landscape. Dressed in festive carnival costumes, a lone couple stands in front of barren trees. The figures seem to shine from within rather than from the light of the moon, which has strangely left the forest in darkness. An unexplained face leers out from the empty hut beside the figures, and an unexpected street lamp incongruously glows nearby.

Known for his fantastic scenes, Rousseau was a self-taught artist whose works appealed to the collectors and avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century, including Pablo Picasso.
[Source: philamuseum.org]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Carnival Evening1886Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rousseau, Henri1844-1910, aged 66French painter ParisNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-11]

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA117 x 90
Rousseau and his Parisian contemporaries were fascinated by wandering gypsies, the Romany people known in France as bohémiens: men and women exiled to the fringes of society during the dramatic changes of the mid-nineteenth century.

French writers and artists had historically linked the Romany to Egypt as well as Bohemia, which may explain Rousseau’s depiction of a dark-skinned woman sleeping calmly—despite the large lion sniffing at her shoulder—in an arid landscape. With its flat planes of pure color, simple geometric forms, dreamlike atmosphere, and exotic subject, The Sleeping Gypsy at once conjures a desire for a preindustrial past and asserts its status as a new kind of modern art; the details of the lion’s unnerving eye and the figure’s zipperlike teeth evidence the artist’s singular pictorial imagination.

Rousseau, a toll collector for the city of Paris (thus known also as Le Douanier), was largely self-taught, although he had grand ambitions of entering the Académie Française. Denied the official acceptance he craved, he later became a hero, although somewhat unwittingly, to the early-twentieth-century avant-garde painters, who claimed him as one of their own.
[Source: moma.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Sleeping Gypsy, The1897Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rousseau, Henri1844-1910, aged 66French painter ParisNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-12]

Private collection/ MOMA, Museum of Modern Art130 x 201  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Niko Pirosmani, a vagrant artist who made pictures and sign-boards for Tiflis (Tbilisi) taverns for trifling remuneration, died forgotten by all in a hospital for the poor in 1918, and was buried in an unknown location.

However he has remained in art history as the greatest Georgian artist of the modern age. His biography, pieced together from scarce surviving documentary evidence, today continues to be the focus of academic research.
[Source: tretyakovgallerymagazine.com]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Feast of the Malakans1905Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pirosmani, Niko 1862-1918, aged 56Georgian artist, second most famous GeorgianNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-13]

Sighnagi National Museum, 8 Rustaveli blind-Alley, Signaghi, Georgia112 x 180  
This work was probably shown in the Salon d’Automne of 1907, but it treats a theme that Rousseau first explored in Surprised! of 1891 (National Gallery, London).

He based the exotic vegetation of his many jungle pictures on studies that he made in Paris’s botanical gardens, and adapted the wild beasts from popular ethnographic journals and illustrated children’s books.
[Source: metmuseum.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Repast of the Lion, The1907Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rousseau, Henri1844-1910, aged 66French painter ParisNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-14]

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY USA114 x 160  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Joan Miró’s searches for new plastic solutions between 1916 and 1918 led to the creation of four ‘detailist’ landscapes, all done in Montroig in summer 1918.

These compositions – which in turn would lead to the renowned work La masía (The Farm) [below] in 1922 – are considered to be of undeniable importance in the evolution of Miró’s style, demonstrating a significant change with respect to his output immediately before.

One of these four critical pieces is La casa de la palmera (House with Palm Tree), in which Miró’s treatment of the landscape is so painstakingly realistic and descriptive. This type of work, which the artist would continue to develop up until 1922, has a somewhat oneiric, naïve feel, mainly due to the absence of evidence of plein air painting and to the above-mentioned descriptive detail in the landscape features.

The painting of La casa de la palmera constitutes the first major creative milestone for the Catalan painter, who would begin to do works that were more clearly approaching Surrealism from 1923-1924 onward.
[Source: museoreinasofia.es]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
House with Palm Tree1918Oil/CbvLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Miró, Juan1893-1983, aged 90Spanish painter (Catalan)Naïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-15]

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain65 x 73  
Miró moved from Barcelona to Paris in 1920, determined to participate in the artistic vanguard of the French capital.

Nevertheless, he remained deeply attached to his native Catalonia, and returned each summer to his family’s farm in the village of Montroig.

In 1921, he determined to make a painting of this farm, a painting that he came to regard as one of the key works in his career.

The Farm represents a brilliant amalgamation of an intense, even primitive realism with the formal vocabulary of cubism. The painting is a compendium of separate details, each carefully observed and precisely described. This detailed realism, however, is matched by a tendency to simplify forms into abstract, geometric shapes.

Moreover, space in The Farm is defined by a ground plane that tilts sharply upward, while individual forms are similarly tilted, so that they sit silhouetted, parallel to the picture plane.

By the mid-1920s, Miró had abandoned the realist manner of The Farm and had created a surrealist style of automatism and abstraction. Elements from The Farm continued to appear in his work, however, and the intensity of vision found in this painting remained a standard for all of his later art.
[Source: nga.gov]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
The Farm1921-2Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Miró, Juan1893 – 1983, aged 90Spanish painter/sculptorNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-23]

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC USA124 x 141  

Image source:
learnodo-newtonic.com
This was the first government-commissioned mural of Rivera and is considered one of his earliest masterpieces. It was created over the course of a year and covers over a thousand square feet. The artwork depicts a number of allegorical figures including Faith, Hope, Charity, Education and Science. Considered a benchmark for Mexican Muralism, the Creation can be seen at San Ildefonso College, a museum and cultural center in Mexico City regarded as the birthplace of the Mexican muralism movement.
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Creation1922-1923MuralHistory painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rivera, Diego1886-1957
aged 70
MexicanNaive Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):[1514-24]

San Ildefonso College,
Mexico City

Image source: fridakahlo.org
This painting she used as a token of love to regain the affection from her lover. She started working on this painting during the late summer of 1926 when her relationship with Alejandro is turning sour because Alejandro thinks she is too liberal. She wrote letters to him and promised that she will be a better person to deserve him. It worked: after Alejandro received this painting, they were back together. But in March 1927 he left for Europe, because his parents don’t want him to be together with Frida. (Source: fridakahlo.org)
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress1925Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Kahlo, Frida1907 – 1954, aged 47Mexican painterNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-16]

 

Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City  

Lowry often painted his surroundings in Pendlebury, Lancashire UK, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years.

Coming from the Mill shows workers going home from a factory after the end of their shift. It was subsequently produced in oils as On the way home from the factory. Lowry considered the oil painting ‘his most characteristic mill scene’.

It does not show a real factory, but the environment is composed of individual buildings with real details from his imagination.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Coming from the Mill1930Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Lowry, L S (Laurence Stephen)1887-1976, aged 88English artistNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-22]

The Lowry, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Salford; Gtr Manchester UK42 x 52  

Image source:
learnodo-newtonic.com
Emiliano Zapata was the foremost leader of the peasant revolution in the Mexican state of Morelos and among the leading figures in the Mexican Revolution. He was also the inspiration of the agrarian movement known as Zapatismo.

This fresco, which shows Zapata with the bridle of a majestic white horse in his hand and standing above the dead body of a land owner, was produced as part of eight portable frescoes for Rivera’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1931. Agrarian Leader Zapata is among the most renowned depictions of the Mexican leader and is considered a landmark in Mexican art.
(Source: learnodo-newtonic.com)
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Agrarian Leader Zapata1931MuralHistory painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rivera, Diego1886-1957
aged 70
MexicanNaive Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):[1514-17]
Portable
In this self-portrait, Kahlo has cast off the feminine attributes with which she often depicted herself—such as traditional embroidered Tehuana dresses or flowers in her hair—and instead sports a loose-fitting man’s suit and short-clipped haircut.

Her high-heeled shoes and one dangling earring remain, however, along with her characteristic penetrating outward gaze. Locks of hair are strewn across the floor, a severed braid lies next to her chair, and the artist holds a pair of scissors across her lap.

This androgynous persona may refer to Kahlo’s own bisexuality, while the lyrics of a popular Mexican song that appear at top suggest the address of a lover: Look, if I loved you it was because of your hair. Now that you are without hair, I don’t love you anymore.

Kahlo and her husband, the artist Diego Rivera, had divorced in late 1939, and the painting indicates both the violence of separation and a newfound autonomy: Kahlo vowed to support herself financially after her divorce by selling her own work.
[Source: moma.org]

Image source: pinterest.com

TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair1940Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Kahlo, Frida1907 – 1954, aged 47MexicanpainterNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-20]

 

MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, NY USA40 x 28  
A popular image for the artist, Lewis’ three charming cats peer out at the viewer with their big yellow eyes.

Much like the artist’s home in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, the signature vibrant colours and simplified forms of the cats and scene bring about large character in a small scale.
[Source: cowleyabbott.ca]

Image source: cowleyabbott.com
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Three Black Cats1955Oil/BoardAnimal Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Lewis, Maud 1903 – 1970, aged 67Canadian painterNaïve/Primitivism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-18]

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS B3J 1V9, Canada30 x 31

Cropped image source: Wikimedia commons
Botero is a Colombian figurative artist and sculptor, born in Medellín. His signature style, also known as ‘Boterismo’, depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which can represent political criticism or humor, depending on the piece.

He is considered the most recognized and quoted living artist from Latin America, and his art can be found in highly visible places around the world.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Collector, The1974Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Botero, Fernando 1932 – Colombian artistNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1514-19]

R. Learner Collection, Madrid0  
Fuster is a Cuban naïve artist specializing in ceramics, painting, drawing, engraving, and graphic design.

He has made a major contribution over ten years of work of rebuilding and decorating the fishing town of Jaimanitas in the outskirts of Havana, where he lives. aimanitas is now a unique work of public art where Fuster has decorated over 80 houses with ornate murals and domes to suit the personality of his neighbours, he has built a chess park with giant boards and tables.

Nowadays, Fuster’s art is a cherished part of Cuban culture and joins the rank of other public artworks such as that of Gaudi in Barcelona or that of Brâncuși in the Romanian city of Targu Jiu. He sponsors this project by the sale of his paintings and ceramics.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Domino Players, The (Juego de Domino)2008Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Fuster, José Rodríguez 1946 – Cuban artistNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):   [1514-21]

Not known60 x 75  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The Dream (Le Rêve) is a large oil-on-canvas painting created by Henri Rousseau in 1910. It is one of more than 25 Rousseau paintings with a jungle theme.

Rousseau wrote of this enigmatic painting, The woman asleep on the couch is dreaming she has been transported into the forest, listening to the sounds from the instrument of the enchanter.” As if to explain his insertion of a musician and a reclining female nude into a moonlit jungle full of exotic foliage and wildlife.

This was his last completed work, it was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1910, a few months before his death in that September.
[Source: moma.org]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Dream, The 1910Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rousseau, Henri1844-1910, aged 66French painter ParisNaïve
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):
MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, NY USA205 x 299

Forward to 1.5.1.5 Modern Art (1912- ) – Forward to 1.5.2 Arts and Crafts Index (1868-1910)
Back to 1.5.1.3 Post Impressionism (1880-1905) – Back to 1.5.1 Impressionism Index (1860-1905)
Back to 1.5 Modern Art Index (1860-1930)

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