American, 1887 – 1979
Fauve Still Life, circa 1920
Oil on canvas
20 H. x 16 W. inches
Andrew Dasburg was born in France in 1887, raised in Germany and came to the United States with his mother in 1892. Dasburg trained at the Art Students League in New York with Kenyon Cox and DuMond, and privately in Woodstock with Birge Harrison.
In 1908, he visited Paris, where he saw the work of Matisse, Picasso, and Cezanne, to name only a few modern masters whose work was exhibited there in the early twentieth century.
Dasburg was invited to Matisse’s studio through his friend Morgan Russell, who was studying with Matisse in Paris. He enjoyed the privilege of seeing the artist at work and viewed his studies, line drawings, and completed canvases. Dasburg learned the mastery of contour lines of a figure from Matisse. From the study of Cezane’s work, young Andrew Dasburg learned to apply the fundamentals of cubism to his personal vision of the American scene.
Dasburg returned to America in 1908, bringing with him his new European ideas, applying the ideals of Cezanne and Cubism to his work. In 1917 Dasburg visited New Mexico at the urging of Maurice Sterne. In 1923, Dasburg became one of the leading proponents of Cubism. He finally settled in Taos in 1930 producing powerful Western landscapes. His ideas where initially a shock wave for New Mexico artists. Dasburg believed: “The objects and occurrences of natural phenomena are not art For not appearances, but causations the underlying geometric mechanism is the guiding principle on which [the artist] builds.” Dasburg’s ideas would influence his peers and even some of the older Taos group.
In the 1930s, artists throughout the United States completed murals, easel paintings, and prints as part of the Works Progress Administration program. In 1935 he worked on a commission for a series of murals for the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. When Dasburg celebrated his 90th birthday in Taos in May 1977, he had been painting there for 60 years.