Zoom Lecture 


 20 March 2023


Matisse. Cahiers d’art, the pivotal 1930's

A lecture on the exhibition on at the Musée d’ l’Orangerie, Paris (1 March – 29 May 2023)

with Chris Boïcos

Henri Matisse, Large Reclining Nude ("The Pink Nude") 1935, Baltimore Museum of Art
Henri Matisse, Large Reclining Nude ("The Pink Nude") 1935, Baltimore Museum of Art

Among the many exhibitions on Matisse very few have focused specifically on his art in the 1930s. In 1930, Matisse left France and traveled to the US and distant Tahiti, deliberately taking a break from creation, and reaching a turning point in his career. It is through the prism of Cahiers d’art, the great avant-garde magazine created by Christian Zervos in 1926, that the exhibition will be presenting Matisse’s work in this decade. Largely excluded from the modern art scene during the 1920s, the painter’s work once again became a subject for reflection and debate, due to regular publications in Cahiers d’Art of his radical pre-1916 paintings and reports on his current production. Articles and reproductions of Matisse’s works helped relaunch his competition with Picasso. In successive issues of the magazine, Matisse was featured alongside the key artists of his time: Braque, Miro, Léger, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Le Corbusier and Marcel Duchamp.


A number of outstanding works, rarely exhibited in France, have been brought together for this exhibition, including Large Reclining Nude from Baltimore, The Song from Houston and the 1938 Romanian Blouses series from various American museums. Major paintings but also sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs of the states of progress of the key works of this remarkable decade are on view in this exceptional exhibition, organized with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Musée Matisse in Nice.

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