Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Alvin Langdon Coburn/Getty Images
Creativity takes courage.
                                 Henri Matisse

A couple of weeks ago I promised you my thoughts on a Matisse exhibition I attended. Apparently, I lied about when I would post it, because I did not write about it the next day. Sorry about that, but great art needs to be processed for longer than just a day. (At least that's my story.)

The show was very impressive. So much so that I am thinking about going again. Previous to attending, I was not particularly a Matisse fan. Certainly I had heard of him, and knew that he was an important artist. But a friend wanted to go, and I was a museum member, which meant we got in free. And I'm always up for looking at art.

I was completely blown away. Some of the art seemed familiar, although much of it was completely new to me. I had no idea how much art Matisse produced.

There were sketches, prints, paintings, sculptures, and collages from the different periods of his life. Since he was an artist for over sixty years, there was a lot of variety. 

And within each medium, there was also a wide range of expression. For example, he painted landscapes, portraits, nudes, still lifes, and more I don't even know how to classify. The exhibition clearly showed the progression of his artistic vision throughout his life.

In addition, Matisse wrote. He illustrated and wote the text for the book Jazz, which was not about jazz at all. He wrote extensively about the creative process, and I look forward to reading more of his thoughts.

Matisse never gave up creating. If he was having trouble with one medium, he worked in another for a whille. As he got older and it was impossible for him to stand long enough to paint, he started doing collages. He called it drawing with scissors.

La Gerbe, one of Matisse's last works, a cutout
I can only hope to use Matisse as an example and continue to create into my eighties, if I'm lucky to live that long.

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