Our Art / Henri-Edmond Cross

Henri-Edmond Cross

Frustrated with the conservatism of art in Paris, Cross (1856–1910) founded the Société des Artistes Indépendants (Society of Independent Artists) bringing together avant-garde artists who were breaking away from convention. Though his early works were more traditional in their dark palettes and realistic rendering, he gradually shifted his technique to using broad, blocky brushstrokes in lighter tones with exposed areas of bare canvas between strokes. The resulting surfaces resembled mosaics, and their boldly colored palettes and fragmented compositions are the precursors to art movements Fauvism and Cubism which pushed these elements even further.

Encouraged by breaking ground in color theory, Neo-Impressionists of the time believed that separate touches of pigment result in a greater vibrancy of color in the observer’s eye, compared to the conventional mixing of pigments on the palette. Favoring loose interpretation of lines and colors rendering scenes of modern life, Cross created "vibrant shimmering visual effects through contrast.”

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