Monday, December 23, 2013

Matisse from SFMOMA

Jointly organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Matisse from SFMOMA brings together the work of Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) from both institutions’ collections for a nearly yearlong presentation at the Legion of Honor. The single-gallery exhibition features 23 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from SFMOMA’s internationally acclaimed Matisse collection, alongside four important paintings and drawings from the Fine Arts Museums’ holdings, and two works from private local collections. On view from November 9, 2013 through September 7, 2014, Matisse from SFMOMA traces four decades of Matisse’s career, celebrating the Bay Area’s early and long-standing enthusiasm for the artist.

Matisse’s expressive canvases were first introduced to San Francisco shortly after the 1906 earthquake, shocking the arts community with their startling colors and brushwork. Since then, the Bay Area has maintained a fervent connection to the artist’s work, resulting in SFMOMA’s rich collection, which showcases pieces from Matisse’s early career, and continues through the 1930s.

Matisse from SFMOMA
includes important examples from the artist’s Fauve period, along with other significant paintings, drawings, and bronzes. Iconic works such as

Sketch from “The Joy of Life” (1905‒1906),

The Girl with Green Eyes (1908):

Henri Matisse, La fille aux yeux verts (The Girl with Green Eyes), 1908. Oil on canvas, 26 x 20 in. (66.1 x 50.8 cm). San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Harriet Lane Levy. © Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Don Myer

and portraits of the artist’s early patrons

Michael and Sarah Stein (1916)

are featured along with major sculptural studies that include Madeleine, I (1901), The Serf (1900–1903), and Large Head: Henriette II (1927).

Also on view are pre-Fauve still lifes and landscapes, as well as

The Conversation (1938), a later decorative interior.

Selections from the Fine Arts Museums’ collection include the vibrant and patterned

Young Woman in Pink (1923) :

Henri Matisse, Young Woman in Pink (La Jeune Femme en Rose), 1923; Oil on canvas; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, memorial gift from Dr. T. Edward and Tullah Hanley, Bradford, Pennsylvania; © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

and an early nude painted in the academic manner Faith, the Model (ca. 1901), which was formerly owned by the Steins and displayed in their Paris apartment, as were many of the works in SFMOMA’s holdings.

The exhibition is organized by Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture, SFMOMA, and Melissa Buron, assistant curator of European painting, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, with assistance from Jared Ledesma, curatorial assistant, SFMOMA.

Matisse from SFMOMA is jointly organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Major support is generously provided by the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.

Exhibition Catalogue

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 40-page, illustrated catalogue, Matisse and San Francisco, published by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and available in November 2013.