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Following the exhibition

Published by :  on  28 Jun 2013

Following the exhibition, which shows the painter's workshop. Matisse. Paires et series (Centre Pompidou, Paris).


A retrospective exhibition of works by Matisse shows scattered among other things in Russia, France and the USA work in a new light. Works that allow us to look at the painting by Matisse in new and different way, by exposing them in chronological order.


Left: La blouse roumaine, 1939-1940, oil on canvas, 92 × 73 cm, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris. Don de l’artiste par déclaration du 21 octobre 1949

Right: Le Rêve, 1940, oil on canvas, 81 × 65 cm, Collection particulière

Matisse. Paires et séries, Centre Pompidou, Paris (dossier de presse)


Matisse made pair or series of works that are in today's insight, however, separate, resulting often in the same places, studies on still lifes, portraits, or landscapes. This "doubling", in-depth study as a method of creative repetition of pairs of canvases has been started around 1906 (see: "Le Luxe (I)" (Collioure, summer 1907, oil on canvas) and "Le Luxe (II)" (Paris, winter 1907, tempera on canvas), and subsequent images in the studio or the picture-within-the-picture of "Capucines à la danse (I)" (Issy-les-Moulineaux, spring-summer 1912, oil on canvas) and "Capucines à la danse (II) "(Issy-les-Moulineaux, spring-summer 1912, oil on canvas)).


Watching superficially juxtaposed works by Matisse, I want to find differences between them. This provokes among other similar cropped presented topic. Matisse painted the same subject repeatedly, but he had seen and presented it in a different way. He experimented with an imaginary theme. Sometimes, when two paintings were created at the same time, it is difficult to determine which was created earlier and which later. For many "paires" exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, we are not able to determine.


Discussing "paires", these kind of pendant and "séries", compiled by analyzing the size of the canvases, the study of their layout, design, or use an item, such as decanter, fruit, or cup, we come to the conclusion that they are sort of variations the same or similar subject. But do not simplifying, conclusion is that these pendants can coexist with each other in a metaphysical way, through the expression of these variations in a different color, crop, drawing, or movement of the brush, and what Carrier (2004) calls "striving for balance, purity, and serenity "each, individual work.


Color on the canvases of Matisse is released from the presented theme, from the figure, begins to live his own rough and wild life. The severity is also expressed in the fact that many of the paintings seem to be unfinished, like the canvas of Saint Louis, of "Nature morte aux oranges" (Toulouse, winter 1898-1899, oil on canvas), combined with acquired from Baltimore, "Nature morte, pommes et oranges" (Toulouse, winter 1898-1899, oil on canvas). It seems sometimes like Matisse began an unfinished picture, looking for the proper light. Work such as "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte" (Paris, quai Saint-Michel, end of 1916, oil on canvas) shows the artist's reflections on the character and appearance of the background, the role played by color, with an emphasis on black, which is the dominant, penetrating character and background. In "Le peintre dans son atelier" (Paris, quai Saint-Michel, 1916-1917, oil on canvas), while Matisse distances itself portrayed as moving the point of view from the inside, out.


In the room devoted to Galerie Maeght (1945), we see the photos that Matisse performed at different stages, among other things, "La Blouse roumaine" (Nice, Hôtel Régina, november 1939 april 1940, oil on canvas), allowing us to see the creative process in progress, although the artist himself did not accept photography as such, considering that they show the world too literal (Matisse, 1953). The artist painted, remove, repainted, which in the final stage seems to be nothing but annihilation.


Works such as "Luxe, calme et volupté" (Paris, quai Saint-Michel, Automne-Hiver 1904, oil on canvas) and "Le Bonheur de vivre" (1905-1906, oil on canvas) were arguing as Carrier (2004) breakthrough in the works of Matisse, which according to the researcher "became great only when he turned away from depicting real scenes, creating (...) and using unreal settings." Confirmation of this can be Matisse's experiments, both stylistic and formal (see: "Luxe, calme et volupté" and Le Goûter). Imagined or otherwise visually processed motifs through its repetition, have become unique.


In my opinion, the compiled work is not about finding new meanings - the same or quite differently arranged - orange, settings, characters, or laying of fabrics, but about a different way of looking and seeing just composed a whole. The exhibition allows a better understanding of the painter to work on the shape and color, and shows how described the Carrier (2004) that "Matisse makes every detail essential."




Carrier, D. (2004) The Beauty of Henri Matisse, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Volume 38, Number 2, pp. 80-87


Henri Matisse, Looking at Life with the Eyes of a Child (essay published in 1953), cited in: Jack D. Flam, Matisse on Art (University of California Press, 1995)


MATISSE. PAIRES ET SÉRIES (7 MARS - 18 JUIN 2012) Dossier de presse, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 31 janvier 2012


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