Indepth Arts News: |
"Matisse: The Art of Drawing"
2000-10-20 until 2000-12-10
Art Gallery of South Australia
Henri Matisse (France 1869-1954) was a master of the art of drawing. His work reveals a
lifetime's approach to his stated desire to 'reconceive in simplicity'.
Matisse considered drawing to be an intimate means of artistic expression. His method -
whether charcoal, pencil, crayon, etcher's burin, lithographic tusche or paper cut - varied
according to the theme and his personal circumstance. The artist's favourite subjects are
often evocative and erotic - the nude figure, for example, or the head of a favourite model.
Other themes relate to the real or imagined worlds of the Pacific and the Caribbean, or tales
drawn from classical mythology.
Much of Matisse's inspiration was found in poetry. Like his art, the poetry or poetic prose he
loved was intimate and sensuous. In his later years the artist developed the practice of
reading poetry every morning before he began working in his studio, noting it was like
inhaling oxygen: 'just as when you leap out of bed you fill your lungs with fresh air'.
Henri Matisse, France, 1869-1954
illustration from Pasiphae Change de Minos (Les Cretois)
of Minos (The Cretans)]
by Henry de Montheriant, Paris: Fabiani editeur,
1944, colour linocut, letterpress on Japon ancien,
33.7 x 26.2 cm (page);
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
© Henri Matisse,
1944/Succession H. Matisse.
Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney 2000