Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
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.
“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.
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.
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!