Visit the exhibition room in La Caixa Forum and enter French painter Maurice de Vlaminck’s universe. Considered to be one of the most radical painters of his time, Maurice de Vlaminck has managed to manipulate forms and colours to create a world of his own.
The atmosphere of the exhibition is well created and each painting displayed in chronological order from 1900 to 1915, his most productive period. It leads the visitor to understand the concepts and history of fauvism, with de Vlaminck's andscapes from small French cities like Chatou, Rueil or Bourgival, exploding with light and announcing the Cézanienne period of subject deconstruction from 1907 onward, leading to cubism.
What was really relevant is the use of different types of media. Painting obviously but also some of his not so well known ceramics works illustrate the tendency of that period of using several materials to manipulate shapes and colours. The most striking thing was certainly the African statues which, properly displayed so that we can walk all around them, are linked to the paintings’ themes. As Picasso often illustrated in his own work, the African sculptures, discovered at the time by artists and merchants, were injected as part of the subject. As a matter of fact, such sculptures were often found in studios of a lot of artists of that period. They became a new source of inspiration.
However Maurice de Vlaminck’s abundance of creation is not reflected in the exhibition and the visitor is left with an unsatisfied feeling. But what is better : quality or quantity?
(*Images, from top to bottom: Maurice de Vlaminck, Puteaux, 1915, © Maurice de Vlaminck, VEGAP, Barcelona 2009. Maurice de Vlaminck, El castañal en Chatou, 1905. © Maurice de Vlaminck, VEGAP, Barcelona 2009.)