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"Matisse: Modern Figures and Portraits 1906 - 1939"
2006-04-15 until 2006-05-15
Leslie Sacks Fine Art
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

Matisse, along with Picasso, was among the very first radically modern figurative artists. This is evidenced by his 1906 lithograph, Le Grand Nu. In this seminal work Matisse takes Cezanne’s dictum that all figures are based on the sphere, the cylinder and the cone, and interpreting this theorem quite literally, reduces a figure to little more these geometric elements and presents this draftsman like sketch as a completed work, leaving no doubt about this as he publishes the drawing as an edition. Avant Garde indeed! Similarly, the bold 1939 charcoal drawing in this show, L’Etude por La France, creates a powerful presence by the mere suggestion of form.

Shortly after the close of World War I, Matisse, Picasso and many other Avant Garde artists returned to familiar styles, as though they were attempting to restore stability to their lives in war torn Europe. At that time, Matisse settled mainly in Nice and created many classically based drawings, the greatest of which is Grande Odalisque à la Culotte Bayadère, 1925. This drawing, rendered as an original lithograph, is widely considered the most important print of the 20th century. An example from this edition is featured in this exhibition.

IMAGE
Henri Matisse
Drawing: L'Etude pour "La France,"
1939, charcoal on paper
Sculpture: Nu Campe Bras sur la Tete,
1906, cast c. 1930s, bronze


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