A Decade of Exhibitions at Paris’ Orangerie Museum Changed Matisse

It just so happens that the Noon Demon has caught a man in his mid-fifties refusing to grow old. At Matisse, that was later: in 1929, at the age of 60, he ditched his wife and started Gili Dou. We are not talking here about his wife, but about the model, who for fifteen years lived in Nice and painted with eternal ballets. Modern critics agree with Odalisques who find syrup at will, and he himself says he’s disgusted by it.

He was rescued by a doctor named Dr. Barnes who had long picked him up and made the difficult journey that took him across the Atlantic Ocean (on an ocean liner) and then across America by train , from New York to San Francisco. , until reaching Tahiti.

The exhibition at the Musée d’Orangerie in Paris tells this story, and the fruitful years that followed. Small in size—some thirty paintings, seven sculptures, twenty-two drawings or prints—it has a big purpose: it highlights a major turning point in the work—and there will be another one later, with paper cuts Invention – This makes Matisse, along with Picasso, one of the main exponents of modern art.

The curator, Cécile Debray, received a special loan: some works are kept mainly in the United States and have not returned to France since painting in France.She also wanted to give the hanging a common thread, a copy of the magazine art books, founded in 1926 by Christian Zervos. Magnificent publications with which André Gide or Tristan Tzara sometimes collaborated until 1939 in 16 publications on Matisse’s work.


In the depression of the sixties, it is not in vain to revisit the original works. The magazine’s articles are richly illustrated and retrospective, and it is not advantageous to compare the creator and some of the other works of Fauvism in 1905 with those he produced 25 years later. However, they were popular and Matisse was no longer happy with them when his dealer, Bernheim-Jeune, sold them.

Large Reclining Nude (Pink Nude) (1935) by Henri Matisse.

As evidenced, in the first room of the exhibition, next to these ladies-in-waiting with outdated Orientalism is a crude, austere painting, woman in veil, from 1927, on loan from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. The veil, combined with the exaggerated arching of the eyebrows, is an excuse to completely deconstruct the face of the model, who is wearing tartan, or an unlikely green dressing gown on the left and red on the right, decorated with squares more like diamonds , forming a grid on the board. The material is wild, sometimes poor, always bumpy, and Matisse even uses the tip of his brush handle to cut certain lines in the still-fresh paint. But this time the production is an exception. “Matisse can no longer paint, Cecil de Bray said. He’s stuck…”

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