Henri Matisse’s hidden face – FINISHED!!

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Reviewed on 03/8/2012 | No Reviews

"La Blouse Roumaine" photo: sucession Henri Matisse

There are always a few landmark exhibitions running in Paris and this is one of them, definitely one of the highlights of the spring cultural season: “Matisse. Pairs and Series”. With some sixty paintings, the Centre Pompidou is presenting an outstanding selection of masterpieces illustrating one main preoccupation of the Fauvist: repetition.

Like a card game

“A painting is like a card game”, Henri Matisse used to say, “you should know from the beginning what you want to achieve at the end. Everything should be worked backwards so that you have finished before you have begun.”

This quote gives a very clear idea about how Matisse used to work. He knew exactly what he wanted, what explains the constant multiplication in his work: doubles, repetitions, variations, reprises, oppositions: these where at the very heart of his work.

Repetition as obsession

But repetition was much more than a simple technique for Matisse, it was his obsession. For the first time, a show tries to explore how Matisse (1869-1954) would repeat the same composition again and again until he achieved perfection.

The exhibition is displaying some stunning examples like the two paintings “La Blouse roumaine” and “Le Reve”. There are also interesting series of drawings, indefinitely varying the same subject.

The true face of Matisse

Finally, we can discover Matisse’s hidden face: not the one known as the leader of the Fauvist movement. He was the painter with bursts of colors and cries of joy, but also an “obsessive, worried man, racked with doubt from the beginning to the end”, as exhibition curator Cecile Debray put it.

“Matisse. Pairs and Series” runs to June 18 2012 at the Pompidou Centre, before moving on to Copenhagen’s Statens Museum for Kunst and then the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Matisse: Pairs and Series  - UNTIL 18 JUNE 2012 – FINISHED-FINISHED!
Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou
75004 Paris
Métro: Rambuteau  
Open every day from 11am-9pm, closed on Tuesdays

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