Two masters, one friendship: the story of Matisse and Picasso | Tate
Feb 16, Matisse Picasso, an examination of the lifelong relationship between . they managed to exchange works and drew support from one another. May 8, Profoundly serious, Matisse finds Picasso's Blue Period stuff a bit good armchair, his paintings and cut-outs are happily consumed by all sorts. Feb 13, With a blockbuster show about the Matisse-Picasso relationship opening degree the sensation of flight which comes to me helps me better to.
During World War II, while Matisse was isolated in Nice and Picasso remained in difficult circumstances in occupied Paris, they managed to exchange works and drew support from one another. After the war ended, Picasso joined Matisse in the south of France, and the now famous and wealthy artists saw each other regularly as their relationship entered its final and closest phase. In one version, Women of Algiers, after Delacroix Canvas NPicasso keeps both Delacroix and Matisse alive but contorts the figures in harsh, aggressive ways that are strictly his own.
The haunting final juxtaposition in the exhibition consists of two self-portrayals made at a time of personal crisis for each artist: In viewing them together, one can see echoes of motif, emotion, and form. In Violinist at the Window, Matisse fuses three themes that recurred throughout his career: This poignant painting of lonely isolation and the consolations of art, created soon after Matisse moved to Nice during a time of transition and uncertainty, was never shown while he was alive.
In this haunting image, a plane of afternoon light casts the artist's own shadow into their bedroom, but that shadow misses contact with the arching female form that embodies his imagination of lost love. For every flourish of artistic innovation from one, the other sought to deliver something even more powerful.
It is interesting to note that both artists were greatly influenced by common sources — the art of Paul Cezanne, tribal African masks, photography. All provided both men with inspiration.
Two masters, one friendship: the story of Matisse and Picasso
However, they interpreted and expressed these influences very differently. Their work sometimes shared notional similarities, but was distinctive in both appearance and tone. Matisse, inspired by nature and informed by his mastery of colour, swept across his canvas in elegant curves, creating serene pictures that remained calm in spite of their vivid hues.
Picasso, by contrast, was chiefly stimulated by his imagination, and generated aggressive, sometimes unsettling imagery. By the s, they had veered in different directions.Picasso's Last Stand, the untold story of the last decade of his life. BBC
Pablo Picasso concentrated on Minotaurs and neoclassical figures from his Parisian studio, whilst Henri Matisse, now based around Nice, painted a series of graceful Odilisques, the exotic concubines he had discovered lounging in Moroccan harems on a trip to the country a few years before. In his twilight years, felled by ill health and reduced to working from bed or his wheelchair, Matisse managed to invent a radical new form of modernism — paper cut outs.
That is why, for example, Matisse is Matisse.
He's got the sun in his gut. Soon after seeing Le Bonheur de vivre, he set to work on his most ambitious and startling painting, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. It began as a tableau with a sailor surrounded by five prostitutes, all surprised by a student holding a skull entering stage right. It ended with just the women, their stares directed straight out at the viewer. As Picasso worked, he simplified, reducing the faces to crude masks, the bodies to fragmented fetishes, imbuing the canvas with a power both primitive and unimaginably new.
None of this came easily or quickly. As Picasso was struggling with his Demoiselles, he was jolted again by Matisse, who exhibited his shocking Blue Nude in With this new painting Matisse was stepping on Picasso's toes before Picasso could even put his foot down. The Steins grabbed up the Blue Nude, with its misshapen some critics said "reptilian" figure reclining against a decorative background of palms.
Pach later gave this account: I don't understand what he is thinking. If he wants to make a design, let him make a design. This is between the two. Matisse had shown him an African statue he'd bought. Then Picasso went to the dingy ethnographic museum in Paris, the Trocadero, with its collection of primitive artifacts. It smelled like a flea market, but it opened his eyes to the magic of masks and fetishes. Suddenly, "I grasped why I was a painter. All alone in that museum, surrounded by masks, Red Indian dolls, dummies covered with dust.
The Demoiselles' must have come that day. British art historian John Golding, writes: It remains the most significant single twentieth-century painting. Matisse was horrified, along with the others who came to see it in Picasso's studio. The painter Georges Braque almost choked, Vollard recoiled, Leo Stein laughed and Picasso, frustrated and hurt, eventually took the canvas off its stretcher and put it aside without exhibiting it.
Matisse wasted little time in painting an unflinching response - his Bathers with a Turtle. It's a painting that truly set the two painters apart, even as they drew on the same sources. Paul Cezanne was everywhere in Picasso's painting, especially in its geometric fragmentations.
As commented by one art historian: Picasso is understanding it as decomposition, and Matisse is understanding it as composition. Both Picasso and Matisse had viewed a collection of Paul Gauguin woodcuts inand his South Seas primitivism showed up in woodcuts they both made soon after. Both Matisse and Picasso were looking at anything that would help them break with the past.
Matisse and Picasso – How a rivalry changed modern art – Flux Magazine
Picasso was completely fascinated by photography, and Matisse said he used photographs to get over his academic way of drawing. They used images from erotic cinema meant for voyeurs, not painters. The question of line, of composition, was secondary, although the distortion, the perversion of line, was very important to them.
It was a game with form, with figuration. In the autumn ofMatisse and Picasso had agreed to swap paintings. As Gertrude Stein tells it, each painter selected what he considered the worst example of the other's new work, as if to reassure themselves.
It was said that Picasso hung the Matisse in a room where his friends threw fake darts at it. And Picasso's painting held a joke for Matisse as well. A short time before the exchange, Matisse had been attacked in the press for a still life of his own. Picasso's lemon was even flatter than Matisse's. Moreover, Picasso's still life, made at the same time as the Demoiselles, is a clear leap into Cubism.
It's like an emblem, showing each other that they understand each other's program. It's like the first key to understanding them. When Picasso's friend Braque sent a group of his own new paintings to the Salon d'Automne inMatisse was one of the jurors.
A critic heard this and baptized "Cubism" in the press. At the same time, though, Matisse took his most important collector,a Russian textile czar named Shchukin, to see the Demoiselles in Picasso's studio.
It was an act of great generosity on Matisse's part.