Wednesday, January 2, 2013
How did Henri Matisse (1869-1954) achieve such vibrancy of light and color in his paintings? Apparently by his lifelong habit of reworking his canvases, as is made evident by "Matisse: In Search of True Painting" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He created series and pairs of paintings on the same subjects that nevertheless resulted in startling differences; compare the hue and brushstrokes of "Le Luxe I" (1907, above left) and "Le Luxe II (1907-1908, right). The exhibition also includes, among others, varied renderings of still lifes, domestic interiors, a young sailor, Notre Dame and a dark-haired model, Laurette. These experiments demonstrate that Matisse remained true to his mission, in his words, to "push further and deeper into true painting."
“Matisse: In Search of True Painting” runs through March 17 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St., NYC; (212) 535-7710, metmuseum.org.