Naive Art

Naive Art is a term used in reference to artwork that is simple, unsophisticated and childlike in its subject matter and technique. Historically, it was associated with painters with no formal training in art and who were considered amateurs, producing pictorial records of places, people or livestock for private dwellings. However, many Artists of the 20th and 21st century have used elements particular to Naive Art as a decorative style or to emphasize the story or meaning of an artwork.

Naive art is characterised by a lack of distance perception (objects seen in the foreground are just as sharp and detailed as the background) and awkward, seemingly incorrect proportions. Before the twentieth century, Naive Art was often criticised and seen as ‘outsider art’ and was a term to be avoided. However it is now fully recognised as an art genre and has academies dedicated to it. The painting shown is ‘The Hold House Porthmear Square Island, Porthmear Beach’ by Alfred Wallis who was an amateur painter ‘discovered’ and championed by Ben Nicholson and Kit Wood and on whose work he had great influence.