31 July, 2009
My Matisse Book Report
"Seek the strongest color effect possible...the content is of no importance," Henri Matisse.
Reading Hilary Spurling's giant two volume biography on the great French Modernist, Henri Matisse, has been a blessing and a burden. Quite readable, they are, well...long. And, to quote someone on Twitter, "I hate finishing biographies; they always end the same!" I had the same problem with the van Gogh Yellow House book. I couldn't bring myself to face the old boy's demise.
Everything Henri Matisse.
Color photos of Matisse in his studio from LIFE magazine.
Matisse was not only the "King of the Fauves" - he was the master of all Modernism. Equaled only by Pablo Picasso of Spain, our Matisse brushed, sculpted, cut, designed and lived five decades ahead of his time. He was a luminary artist whose colors and lines are his signature, but whose life, until now, has not been well revealed. I cannot recommend Spurling's excellent and authoritative books more.
I want to keep my reactions to the long books concise. How about a painting done in the style of Matisse? Although Matisse himself was très original, it is not uncommon for an artist such as myself to copy a past master to internalize his methods. I was doing a painting as a copy from one of my numerous instruction books, and it reminded me slightly of HM's muse. I ran with that.
The instruction book image was "Erick," by artist Sally Stride. I'll be out of town until Monday - enjoy your weekend!