Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917

Henri Matisse. Bathers by a River 1909–10, 1913, 1916–17. Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, 1953.158. © 2010 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago is currently showcasing a new Henri Matisse exhibition, “Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917.” This exhibit takes a close look at one short, enigmatic phase in the artist’s career, during which Matisse’s trademark bright colors and deceptively simple approach to form were replaced with blacks and grays and an uncharacteristic density.

Some critics attribute the change to war pressures and the challenge of a younger generation of painters, particularly the cubism championed by Matisse’s younger friend and rival, Pablo Picasso. However, Stephanie D’Alessandro of the Art Institute and John Elderfield of the Museum of Modern Art in New York who curated the show feel differently. Alessandro and Elderfield believe Matisse decided to reinvent himself artistically and develop new methods of art construction.

“Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917″ contains nearly 120 of Matisse’s paintings, sculptures, etchings and drawings — many from that crucial period between 1913 and 1917, but some from before and after. The exhibition runs in Chicago through June 20, and it will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from July 18 through Oct. 11.

 - Information taken from F.N. D’Alessio’s article Exhibit Looks at Enigmatic Phase in Matisse’s Art

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If you can’t make it to the exhibit – or even if you can and you want more Henri Matisse artwork in your life – visit the Park West Gallery website to view a portion of the Park West Matisse collection.

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