A Matisse Exhibit Is Coming to the MFA
Come springtime, you’ll be able to admire the original objects Henri Matisse depicted in his art—along with the works themselves.
A new international exhibition called “Matisse in the Studio” is coming to the Museum of Fine Arts on April 9, 2017. The exhibit will examine the roles that Matisse’s personal objects played in his art and how they influenced his creative choices. It aims to offer a glimpse into Matisse’s mind through his studios.
Vases, Egyptian curtains, and a silver chocolate pot are a few of the 35 possessions that will be on display, while a total of 34 paintings, 26 drawings, 11 bronzes, seven cut-outs, four prints, and an illustrated book make up the major works in the exhibit. There will also be photos of pieces in progress as well as shots of Matisse’s studios in Nice, Venice, and several other cities.
The renowned French artist believed that his objects of inspiration were a part of his artistic process. He once described them as actors, saying “A good actor can have a part in ten different plays; an object can play a role in ten different pictures.”
Matisse was born in northern France in 1869, but moved around frequently throughout his life. Each time, he brought his personal collection of objects to his new studio, until he eventually settled in Nice, France. He’s remembered for his unparalleled approach to color and composition. While he’s known for strong influence on Modern art, he isn’t often recognized for his interests beyond French culture.
“The exhibition tells the story of Matisse’s lifelong engagement with African, North African and Asian cultures. Viewers will see Matisse in a new light, since these artistic borrowings raise so many relevant questions about how we continue to engage with cultural difference today,” said co-curator Ellen McBreen in a statement. The associate professor of art history at Wheaton College is curating the exhibit with Helen Burnham, the Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings at the MFA, and Ann Dumas, curator of the Royal Academy of Arts.
“Matisse in the Studio” marks the first-ever exhibition to feature Matisse’s defining works alongside their physical inspirations, many of which have never been publicly exhibited outside of France.
“Matisse in the Studio” will be on view April 9 through July 9, 2017. For more information, visit mfa.org.