The colorful petals flying into The Oasis of Matisse

Henri Matisse, The parakeet and the sirens, 1952 (detail)
The parakeet and the sirens, 1952 (detail)

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

27 Mar – 16 Aug 2015

[box type=”shadow” ] Stuck at home Matisse decided to “bring a garden into the house”, turn walls into Vence’s studio, with sparkling shapes, colors, flowers and plants in order to reach his beloved sense of balance between colors and shapes.[/box]

“The Oasis of Matisse” is the largest exhibition of Henri Matisse in the Netherlands ever. Matisse is able to evoke the brightness joy with simpler solutions, bringing vital energy with his energetic work in a profusion of new styles and motif: nudes, idyllic landscapes, colored tissues, carpets and glasses and of course his famous cut out. The exhibition jewel is the gigantic “The Parakeet and the Mermaid” hang on an entire wall.

The Stedelijk Museum has performed an original exhibition idea: put together the permanent collection on the ground floor of the museum with the classics of Henri Matisse (paintings, sculptures and works on paper), comparing them with the works of the masters who influenced him, with other contemporary artists, and finally with his disciples.
With this criterion, one of the most important artists of the twentieth century can be viewed from a new point of view. The exhibition shows how the flat and glistening surfaces, the primary colors of many paintings by the french master contains in the sketches all components of subsequent cuttings.
The artistic career of Matisse runs from early experiences fauves to the famous collages-cuttings in a constantly evolving language as no one before him had ever contemplated.

Starting from his first works, still lifes and portraits, like “Woman Reading”, Matisse rapidly develops and radically his own style. In this exhibition his fauves paintings are displayed alongside those of Paul Cézanne, Kees van Dongen, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck, with sudden incursions between Cubism and Expressionism comparing with other giants like Chagall, Picasso and Kirchner to end with the marked influence of the abstract works of artists like Mondrian, Malevich and Rothko.

Matisse: drawing with scissors

He was the first artist who concentrate his inspiration in collages in such a serious way. Criticized for that, the artist strongly believed that this form of art was a development of the creative spirit.
He was just him on his wheelchair and scissors, putting all his energy to create shapes with accuracy and finesse. He was the only one to choose colors and his assistants glue the paper model on the large sheets hang on his studio walls. In order to explain his dynamic will and vivacity, Matisse said that a real artist “shouldn’t ever be lock up by himself, of his own style or by the success”.

An important part that contribute to create his charming works can be found in his childish simplicity, this is the genius of Matisse: celebrate joy and creativity like only the child could paint, without any prejudices. Like he said “painting with scissors” his an experimentation who gave him the possibility to create an artistic environment fresher and more attractive. The cut out technique unleash his imagination and talent, maybe used to hold put against death. Matisse arousal gets vital energy from cut out.

Bart Rutten, curator of Stedelijk collection said ” the comparison between Matisse works and the museum collection give us the opportunity to understand the refine aspect of Matisse works. The French artist, although using all the ingredients, never embrace totally the Abstract art. For me Matisse is one of the most fascinating artist”.

Visitors can admire Matisse genius and creativity in all his artistic evolution.
Painter, sculptor, engraver, textile designer and Collages master, Matisse has always searching for the perfect harmony between shape and colors. He also sensed the mood of the next artistic generation.

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