(b Chatou, nr. Paris, 17 June 1880; d Garches, nr. Paris, 8 Sept. 1954). French painter, printmaker, theatrical designer, and sculptor. In the first two decades of the 20th century he was near the centre of avant-garde developments in Paris: he was one of the creators of Fauvism, an early adherent of Cubism, and one of the first to ‘discover’ primitive art. However, in the 1920s he moved away from his pre-war experimentation to a much more conservative style reflecting his admiration for the Old Masters. The works he painted in this manner (including landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and nudes) made him wealthy and internationally famous (he exhibited widely abroad), but they dismayed many supporters of avant-garde art. He polarized opinion so much that in January 1931 the periodical Les Chroniques du jour published a feature entitled ‘André Derain: Pour ou Contre’.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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