Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum shows the ‘Intimate’ Henri Matisse
Famous French painter Henri Matisse, master of fauvism and colour, also produced a number of more intimate works between 1917 and 1947, which are the subject of a new exhibition at Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.The 70 paintings, drawings and sculptures depict odalisques or scenes through windows with a view on the sea, many of them done in the southern French city of Nice, where he moved in 1917. The Thyssen Matisse exhibition is open from June 9th to September 20th, 2009.
The exhibition focuses on the work of Matisse between 1917 and 1941. These two important dates mark the start and finish of the central period within his career during which time Matisse developed his most individual and distinctive style but which has been the subject of less attention than the early and late phases of his activity. Marked by the shadow of World War I and the menace of the impending conflict, this period was of crucial importance for the dissemination and consolidation of modern art, a process in which Matisse undoubtedly played a central role.
This is the context in which the exhibition will analyse the artist’s work with the intention of showing how Matisse expanded the scope of his pictorial investigations at this period, focusing on the relationship between line, colour, volume and space and opting for an aesthetic that aspired to the timeless without abandoning its commitment to modernity.
It is a more “naturalistic and intimate” period, which was “unjustly disparaged by avant-garde critics,” said the Thyssen’s artistic director Guillermo Solana. He said Matisse, who lived from 1869 to 1954, produced his best works after 1917.
The works in the exhibition, which come from around 50 museums and private collections, include “Seated Woman, Back Turned Toward the Open Window,” “Portrait of Marguerite Asleep” and “Pianist and Checker Players.”
The paintings of Matisse remain among the most sought-after by collectors. One of his works, “Cuckoos on a Blue and Pink Carpet”, sold for 32 million euros (44 million dollars) at an auction in Paris in February, a record for a Matisse.
The history and origins of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection tell one of the most fascinating tales of private collecting. Although the collection boasted worldwide renown, when the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum opened in Madrid in October 1992, showcasing the core of the collection together for the very first time, one thing that prompted most admiration was that such a large number of works, and such quality works, had been collected in just two generations. It was, without a doubt, the most important private art collection of the 20th century.
Visit the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum at : www.museothyssen.org/thyssen_ing/home.html
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