Wednesday, December 5

Thanks to Farrow & Ball paint, a lovely breakfast and private tour of the Matisse exhibit at the MET museum


 "Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
was one of the most acclaimed artists working in France during the first half of the twentieth century...throughout his career he questioned, repainted, and reevaluated his work.  He used the complete canvas as tools, repeating compositions in order to compare effects, gauge his progress, and as he puts it, 'push further and deeper into true painting'. While this manner of working in pairs, trios and series is certainly not unique to Matisse, his method of progressing from one painting to the next is striking."
 
 When
Farrow & Ball
invited me to an exclusive breakfast in the Patron's Lounge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a private tour of the newly opened Matisse exhibit, I was thrilled.  Matisse is one of my very favorite artists.  I enjoy how he works in pairs defining and re-defining what he sees, and always, always with an inquisitive and a before-his-time sense of color.  First and foremost Matisse is a colorist, and if he was alive today, I truly believe he'd somehow be involved in the interior design industry.  He loved to paint fabrics and wall coverings and tabletop scenes, but almost always honing his sense of color and shape while re-defining over and over again.  
 Matisse:
In Search of True Painting 
presents 49 vibrantly colored canvases

The wall colors and wallpaper in the exhibition
are provided by Farrow & Ball. 
Farrow & Ball is one of my most favorite industry companies, never failing to keep their feet deeply rooted in history, art and all with an English point of view.  It was a wonderful pairing then that Farrow & Ball would sponsor this exhibit.  The entryway to the exhibit is painted in the company's staple 
Drawing Room Blue. 
Farrow & Ball
generously donated the paint colours and wallpaper designs
that provide the backdrop for the MET's exhibit
see some of the colours they used:
Our private tour guide clearly knew her art history, yet at the same time seemed to truly understood Matisse, his progressions over the years and his inner struggle to keep looking at art and reevaluating his approach.  

one of the artist's more famous paintings
Most of the work at the MET is exhibited in pairs of the same study, with the first painting often being the one he "sketched" and he later de-constructs the work with an almost opposing point of view using different techniques, sometimes less literal to capture the essence of the subject at hand through shapes and color and almost abstract concepts, while utilizing unique techniques of scratching the surface of the paint to layer on textures.
Matisse makes living during World War I seem bright, yet it's doubtful these characters had such luminous environments.  Under Matisse's spell we are left longing for more of his beautiful work to soak up.  
Matisse painted the boy twice; first in great detail and literal, next he used broad strokes, and created a caricature of him while injecting a hypnotic sense of color into the work.  Matisse often travelled bringing his exotic experiences to his paintings. These two paintings are of the same subject, but with two completely different attitudes. 
 same painting three times above, each one using different techniques  
 fascinating use of the color black to show light and bring forth color.
 during his later work, the artist showed a sophistication of combining colors and light

His Italian model and studio assistant Lydia Delectorskaya became his muse. 
He brought her exotic costumes and fashion to model.
 it appears his work became more graphic and less subtle over time
During the 1930s Matisse's work progressed, and he hired a photographer to document each work.  Instead of repeating the composition as he had done in the earlier 1900s, he now saved several states of the paintings in photographs.  Matisse used the photographs to preserve states of his paintings. He consulted the photographs as he worked, comparing them to the painting to keep tabs of his progression.
Thank you Farrow & Ball!
Happy Holidays
Happy Nesting XO