French Art and Architecture

French Art and Architecture
  • French artists
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  • 20th Century Art

20th Century Art in France

Paris was soon the focal point in the artistic world in the early years of the 20th century, attracting artists from all over the world. At the time, the postimpressionist movement combined with a rising interest in African art, resulted in the emergence of several different and new artistic movements, including fauvism and cubism. Main exponents of these artistic currents included Matisse and Rouault for the former, and Picasso and Braque for the latter.

After World War I artistic movements continued to evolve and it was around this time that surrealism and Dada came about. Dada was anarchic and outrageous, and lasted only a few years, while surrealism was the main artistic movement in the period between both world wars.

World War II forced many artists to leave Europe and head for the refuge provided by the United States. This resulted in a huge migration of talent and was when Paris stepped down as capital of avant-garde art to turn this title over to New York. After 1945 many of the leading artists such as Nicholas de Staël, Jean Fautrier, Georges Mathieu, and Pierre Soulages worked in the abstract expressionism style, referred to as Tachime style in France. Other typical post war movements that emerged as a reaction to the war were the Art Brut and much later, the Nouveaux Réalistes movements.