Henri Matisse - Making the Hand Sing
29.10.2016 - 12.02.2017
The exhibition entitled “Henri Matisse: Making the Hand Sing” presents the largest collection of works by Matisse in Germany to the public for the first time. These 121 prints were donated to the Picasso Museum on permanent loan in the summer of 2015 and have never previously been exhibited. These artworks originate directly from the Matisse family and have been stored in a Parisian bank safe for the last 60 years. “This is a fantastic coup”, enthused Museum Director Professor Dr Markus Müller, who established close contact with the artist’s heirs.
The new collection contains examples of all the printmaking techniques through which Matisse expressed his artistic vision: lithographs, aquatints, woodcuts and etchings. The Picasso Museum has framed the prints and is now displaying them in an exhibition alongside other celebrated works on loan from international museums and collections, including paintings, sculptures, stage costumes, a rare cut-out and a large-scale tapestry.
Visitors should expect a choreographic representation of a unique artistic career, shaped by unceasing creativity and artistic discipline despite severe illness. Matisse believed that an artist must work hard every day to “make the hand sing”. Like a ballet dancer or an acrobat, the artist must train the hand so that it obeys the brain and can work as if in a trance.
This Matisse exhibition spans a period of almost 50 years from 1906 to 1952, from the artist’s early Fauvist works to his designs for the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, the crowning achievement of his creative oeuvre which was completed shortly before his death. The various stages of his life, defined by places such as Tahiti, Morocco and Nice, are reflected in his images and in the themes which he addressed throughout his career. These themes include ornament, ballet, dance, book illustrations and above all the female body.
The exhibition features loans from the Musée Matisse in Nice, the Museum Folkwang in Essen, the Musée Départemental Matisse in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Troyes, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Lambert Collection (Avignon), the Matisse family and the Classen Collection of artist’s books at the Picasso Museum.
The new Matisse Collection is on permanent loan from Sparkasse Münsterland Ost.
Bildtitel von links nach rechts:
Henri Matisse, Primavera, 1938, Lionolschnitt / Henri Matisse, Bédouine au grand voile, 1947, Aquatinta (© Succession H. Matisse / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015)