The Indianapolis Museum of Art October 13, 2013-January 12, 2014
Minneapolis Art Institute February 23, 2014 – May18, 2014
San Antonio Museum of Art June 14, 2014 – September 7, 2014
Matisse: Life in Color, Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art features almost fifty paintings and sculptures and thirty works on paper spanning six decades of Henri Matisse’s prolific career.
As one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) fundamentally altered the course of modern art with his stylistic innovations. Across a succession of stylistic periods, Matisse aimed to discover the “essential character of things” through art that expressed balance and serenity. He experimented throughout his career with abandoning conventional perspective and form in favor of dramatically simplified areas of pure color, flat shapes and decorative patterns.
The majority of the artwork in Matisse: Life in Color, Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art come from the renowned Cone Collection, formed by Baltimore sisters Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone. Noted for their enduring dedication to modernism, the sisters assembled one of the largest private collections of the work of Matisse in the world.
From landscapes to nudes, still lifes to interiors, the exhibition’s varied and vivid works explore the shifts in Matisse’s style over time—with a crowd-pleasing emphasis on his popular early paintings.
Purple Robe and Anemones (1937),
Two Girls, Red and Green Background, Interior, Flowers and Parakeets (1924),
and the artist’s book Jazz.
Matisse: Life in Color, Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art also features milestones of Matisse’s career including
The Pewter Jug (1917)
Large Seated Nude (1922-29),
Striped Robe, Fruit, and Anemones, 1940, The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland (1950.263)© 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Large Reclining Nude, 1935
Large Reclining Nude is one of Matisse’s most compelling paintings of the 1930s and an
important work in the transition to his late painting style and to his paper cutouts. He
worked on the painting for several months and documented the stages of its evolution
through photographs. Matisse progressively flattened the image, striving for a balance
between the sinuous arabesques of the figure and the regular grid pattern of the
The Yellow Dress, 1929-1931
In 1929, Matisse was in the midst of a painting block. His production fell off sharply, and
he left a number of paintings unfinished. He began The Yellow Dress in September 1929,
but he struggled for another two years to bring it to a satisfying conclusion as he sought
to achieve a balance between modeled form and outline. Matisse simplified and enlarged
the figure and the dress as the painting progressed, transforming the domestic subject
into something monumental and timeless.
Seated Odalisque, Left Knee Bent, Ornamental Background and Checkerboard, 1928
After seeing an exhibition of Islamic art in Munich in 1910, Matisse became intrigued by
the decorative aesthetics of Near Eastern and North African cultures. Following a trip to
Morocco in 1912–13, images of women in North African costume begin to appear in his
work. The strong patterning of the carpets and textiles dominates this painting.
From a review of the Indianopolis show:
Per the exhibition title, Matisse wasn't an artist overly enamored with earth tones. But, for Matisse, it was never just about the color. Take a look at his painting,
"Ballet Dancer Seated on a Stool,"
which starts with a bored looking woman wearing a tutu with a white skirt. The skirt is dotted with clumps of dried white paint set against a deep blue background. If the white shock of the skirt resembles at all a splash in the water, then the clumped paint is the foam. The bored, abstracted face of the ballet dancer is far from the center of attention. The tutu pops off the canvas, and the wavelets of paint, rising above the canvas, have a sculptural quality...
More images from the exhibition:
Young Woman at the Window, Sunset1921
The Cowboy (Jazz Plate XIV) -1947-
Henri Matisse Marie-Jose in a yellow dress (III) 1950 colour lift-ground aquatint (black with four colors)
ABOUT HENRI MATISSE
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and perhaps the most universally beloved. His stylistic innovations fundamentally altered the course of modern art. In a career spanning six decades, his achievements in painting, sculpture, drawing, graphic arts, book illustration and paper cutouts earned the acclaim of collectors, critics, his contemporaries, and generations of younger artists.
Matisse trained as a lawyer before developing an interest in art. He moved to Paris to study painting in 1891 and eventually
became a fixture of the bohemian Montmartre neighborhood where Picasso, Mondrian, and others worked. He followed the traditional academic path, first at the Académie Julian and then at the École des Beaux Arts, before discovering a dynamic contemporary Parisian art scene. He began to experiment with a variety of styles to create his own pictorial language. In 1905, he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne with André Derain, and their shockingly bold experiments
using color to structure their paintings earned them the derisive nickname “Les Fauves” (Wild Beasts).
He experimented throughout his career with abandoning conventional perspective and form in favor of dramatically simplified areas of pure color, flat shapes and decorative patterns. Across a succession of stylistic periods, Matisse aimed to discover the “essential character of things” through art that expressed balance and serenity.
Matisse from SFMOMA
November 9, 2013 – September 7, 2014
Henri Matisse, La Conversation (The Conversation), 1938. Oil on canvas. SFMOMA, Bequest of Mr. James D. Zellerbach. 93.149. © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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. 69.30.134. © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Celebrating the Bay Area’s long standing enthusiasm for Henri Matisse, Matisse from SFMOMA traces four decades of the artist’s career—from his early, Cézanne-inspired still lifes to his richly patterned and brightly colored figural paintings made in the 1920s and 1930s.
This intimate exhibition features 23 paintings, drawings, and bronzes from the internationally acclaimed collection of works by Matisse at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), joined by two paintings and two drawings from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s own important Matisse holdings.
November 14, 2012 through February 24, 2013
The Baltimore Museum of Art presented an intimate exhibition of more than 30 dance-themed prints, drawings, and sculptures by the great French artist Henri Matisse. On view from November 14, 2012 through February 24, 2013, Matisse’s Dancers spanned three decades of the artist’s career— from sculptures created in 1909-11 to delicate drawings of dancers sketched in 1949. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a rarely shown series of 11 transfer lithographs of a dancer/acrobat moving through various positions that evolve into an abstraction of reality, movement, and shape. These prints, drawn as lithographs in 1931-32, but published after Matisse’s death, are among the most eloquent examples of the artist’s way of seeing. The BMA has the largest and most significant collection of works by Matisse in the world.
The 1931-32 lithograph series was made around the same time as the famous Dance mural in the Barnes Collection, recently unveiled in Philadelphia. During this period, Matisse made an enormous change in his work, turning to more simplified and structured compositions. The contrast can be seen in an earlier series of prints of dancers from 1926-27. These dancers are not working, but are lounging immobile on couches and chairs like his more familiar odalisques. Two later series of drawings from 1949 show Matisse’s continuing abstraction of movement.
In addition to the prints and drawings, Matisse made sculptures of dancers to explore the challenges of capturing movement in three dimensions. Two early Matisse sculptures of dancers and the BMA’s great Serpentine sculpture by Matisse will be exhibited along with works by a previous generation of artists who were equally fascinated with dancers, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas.
MATISSE AT THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
The Baltimore Museum of Art has the largest and most significant collection of works by Henri Matisse in the world with approximately 1,500 works, including oil paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, books, textiles, and a ceramic vessel, as well as 220 drawings, prints, and copper plates from the artist’s first illustrated book, Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé.
Upside Down Lady (1930) from French poet Stéphane Mallarmé's book 'Poésies'.
This extraordinary collection began with a gift of 500 Matisse works from Baltimore sisters Claribel and Etta Cone, who had visited the Paris studios of Matisse and Pablo Picasso in the early 20th century and began forming one of the world’s greatest collections of modern art. Over the course of nearly 50 years, they assembled an exceptional collection of approximately 3,000 objects, which were displayed in their Baltimore apartments. Etta Cone met Matisse in 1906, and her initial purchase of several drawings marked the beginning of a life-long passion for his art that continued throughout his career. With masterworks such as
Matisse’s Blue Nude (1907)
competition among museums for The Cone Collection began as early as 1940, but Claribel insisted that it go to The Baltimore Museum of Art if “the spirit of appreciation for modern art in Baltimore became improved.” The collection came to the BMA upon Etta’s death in 1949, and has been on view since 1957. The collection has been the subject of exhibitions at prestigious museums around the world and celebrated in Baltimore with redesigned and expanded galleries that include a dynamic touch-screen virtual tour of the apartments where the Cone sisters lived with their remarkable collection. In recent years, the BMA has conducted ground-breaking research on Matisse’s sculpture and organized major traveling exhibitions with accompanying catalogues on Matisse’s sculpture and prints.