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Achille Emile Othon Friesz (French, 1879-1949)
Also known as: Friesz, Achille-Emile-Othon; Friesz, Emile Othon; Othon FrieszBirth Place: Le Havre (Seine-Maritime, Département de la, Haute-Normandie, France)
Early in his career, Othon Friesz defined himself as a Fauve painter together with such colleagues as Raoul Dufy, Henri Matisse, and André Derain, whose compositions with bold, primary colors and flattened forms influenced successive generations of modernist artists. After World War I, however, Friesz yearned for a return to the traditional painting tenets that he had learned in art school in Le Havre: solid volumes, spatial separation of planes, and more subdued color. It was while vacationing in Dinan and Saint-Malo in Brittany in 1935-36, that Friesz hiked along the Rance, a local river, and encountered an ideal setting for his naturalistic landscapes. These later paintings share key features, notably a palette of earth-tone greens and tans, energized brushwork, and a balanced composition where a dense screen of trees weights bands of water and sky.
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