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"Matisse"
2000-07-16 until 2000-09-10
Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham, AL, USA United States of America

Matisse from The Baltimore Museum of Art features 68 dazzling works spanning 1898-1950. The works are drawn from The Cone Collection at The Baltimore Museum of Art, an internationally renowned collection of modern art. Matisse marks the largest U.S. tour of Matisse works from this Collection in more than 20 years. The genius of Matisse will be displayed in 35 paintings, 16 bronze sculptures, 15 drawings and 2 illustrated books. These magnificent works show why Matisse, along with Picasso, ranks as one of the two most important and influential artists of the entire 20th century.

Matisse took the classical form of the body, and, with a revolutionary intensity of color and simplicity of brushwork, brought it into the modern era. Everything worked to bring out the sensual, expressive and essential elements of the human form: vivid colors and bold shapes evoked feeling rather than merely representing reality. Often called the master of color, Matisse applied pattern upon pattern onto the canvas, creating sumptuous interiors unlike any before. Visitors will be astonished even today by the brilliance of such paintings as Interiors, Flowers and Parakeets (1924) and Seated Odalisque, Left Leg Bent (1926). This exhibition not only features works by one of the towering figures of modern art, but it also highlights an important chapter in the development and formation of modern culture in America - the journey and legacy of the remarkable Cone sisters through the art of the first half of the twentieth century. Together the Cone sisters formed one of the world's preeminent collections of modern art in an era when modern art was acquired by only a handful of visionary individuals. Following their passion, the sisters made repeated trips to Europe where they purchased superb paintings directly form the artists' studios often with the guidance of friends Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo. Over a period of fifty years, they acquired over 3000 objects, including these incomparable holdings of work by Matisse, and major examples by Picasso, Cazanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Renoir and other masters of early 20th century French art. Archival photographs of the Cone sisters and their Baltimore apartment where these works originally hung will augment this extraordinary exhibition.


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