André Lhote was a prolific artist and theorist, who worked and exhibited regularly until the 1950’s.
Born on July 5, 1885 in Bordeaux he was immersed in art from an early age and at the age of thirteen, he learnt wood carving at a furniture maker’s studio, before studying sculpture at the ‘Ecole des Beaux Arts’ before turning his attention toward painting.
Influenced by Gauguin and Cézanne, he held his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Druet in 1910, four years after he had moved to Paris. It was during this time that Lhote was involved with the avant-garde Fauvist style, which is a term that describes a loose group of artists whose arts was generally characterised by somewhat wild and exaggerated brushwork combined with the use of bright, often contrasting colours. This group of artists received their name in 1905 from the French art critic, Louis Vauxcelles who disparagingly called the group’s exhibition at the Salon d’Automne, ‘Donatello au milieu des Fauves’ which literally translated means ‘Donatello among the wild beasts’ contrasting the fauve paintings to a more classical sculpture that was in the room with them.
After initially working in a Fauvist style, Lhote shifted towards Cubism and joined the Section d’Or group in 1912, exhibiting at the Salon de la Section d’Or alongside some of the fathers of modern art, including Gleizes, Villon, Duchamp, Metzinger, Picabia and La Fresnaye. This group of artists were in favour of a more decorative and accessible alternative to the celebrated Cubism of Picasso and Braque.