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Louis Vauxcelles

(1870—1943)


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French art critic. In the period between the turn of the century and the First World War, he was probably the most widely read of French critics, his work appearing in many newspapers and periodicals, particularly Excelsior and Gil Blas, for which he was the regular art correspondent. However, he is now remembered solely because he gave rise to the names of two of the 20th century's most famous art movements—Fauvism and Cubism. He said of Braque, ‘Let us not make fun of him since he is honest’, but he soon became identified with vociferous opposition to Cubism, and by 1918 he was even spreading false rumours that Picasso and Gris were disillusioned with the movement. Because of this he has sometimes been pigeonholed as an arch-conservative, but although he was hostile to certain types of avant-garde art (particularly abstraction) he was broadly anti-academic in his sympathies. For instance, he was an early supporter of Julio González. His later years are obscure and his date of death has only recently came to light.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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