Giovanna M. Carli

HENRI MATISSE. IN SEARCH OF TRUE PAINTING

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HENRI MATISSE. IN SEARCH OF TRUE PAINTING

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Still Life with Magnolia, 1941, Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 39 3/4 in. (74 x 101 cm)
Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, Purchase, 1945
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Metropolitan Museum, fino al 17 marzo 2013, metmuseum.org

Matisse, ossessionato dal colore che, come indicava il maestro Moreau, deve essere pensato, sognato, immaginato produceva soddisfazioni visive attraverso l’immagine dipinta. E se considerava il colore soprattutto, forse ancor più del disegno, una liberazione, ne ammirava i multiformi impieghi nei dipinti suggestivi di Van Goghe, Gauguin, nella ceramica persiana, nelle stoffe moresche, nell’arte africana, persino nei legni giapponesi.
Nel 1898 andò a Londra a studiare i dipinti di William Turner toccando con gli occhi le forme sublimi di cromatiche trasparenze.
Porterà in Occidente l’arte e il colore intesi come “joie de vivre” e di questo, ancora oggi, tutti noi, gli siamo grati. Immensamente.
Una mostra imponente, suddivisa in otto sezioni, celebra le sorprendenti capacità di un autore che unisce alle sperimentazioni cromatiche e alla comunicazione partecipata una singolare tensione mistica.

Giovanna M. Carli, 2013

The following texts were written by Rebecca Rabinow for the Metropolitan Museum’s presentation of Matisse: In Search of True Painting.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Goldfish1912, Oil on canvas, 32 5/16 x 36 13/16 in. (82 x 93.5 cm)
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, J. Rump Collection
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 

Henri Matisse (1869–1954) was one of the most acclaimed artists working in France during the first half of the twentieth century. The critic Clement Greenberg, writing in The Nation in 1949, called him a “self-assured master who can no more help painting well than breathing.” Unbeknownst to many, painting had rarely come easily to Matisse.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Sculpture and Vase of Ivy, 1916, Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in. (60 x 73 cm)
Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, Gift of Adèle
and George Besson, 1963. On extended loan to the Musée des Beaux-Arts
et d’Archéologie, Besançon
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 

Throughout his career, he questioned, repainted, and reevaluated his work. He used his completed canvases as tools, repeating compositions in order to compare effects, gauge his progress, and, as he put it, “push further and deeper into true painting.” While this manner of working with pairs, trios, and series is certainly not unique to Matisse, his need to progress methodically from one painting to the next is striking. Matisse: In Search of True Painting presents this particular aspect of Matisse’s painting process by showcasing forty-nine vibrantly colored canvases. For Matisse, the process of creation was not simply a means to an end but a dimension of his art that was as important as the finished canvas.

La maggior parte dei dipinti pubblicati sono tratti dalla sezione:

The Matisse Exhibition at the Galerie Maeght, Paris, December 1945


Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Sculpture and Vase of Ivy, 1916-17, Oil on canvas
28 3/4 x 36 1/4 in. (73 x 92 cm)
Tikanoja Art Museum, Vaasa, Finland
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 


Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Still Life with Purro I, 1904, Oil on canvas
23 1/4 x 28 1/2 in. (59 x 72.4 cm)
Private Collection
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Still Life with Purro II1904-5
Oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm)
Private collection
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Matisse embraced the opportunity to put his process on display at the Galerie Maeght. He repeatedly insisted to Aimé Maeght that the only point of the exhibition was to present “the progressive development of the artworks through their various respective states toward definitive conclusions and precise signs.” The photographs proved that the paintings were the result of a complex process. By agreeing to make them public, Matisse tacitly acknowledged that their presence added to the viewer’s understanding and appreciation of his work.

Special thanks to: Alexandra Kozlakowski, Senior Press Officer, Communications Department
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, tel: 212-650-2128

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