February 24, 2015 — June 28, 2015
Henri Matisse: Harmonious Color. Welcome to the second of a series of exhibitions pairing works from the Chrysler Collection with masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Henri Matisse led a revolutionary group of young French painters who focused on the expressive power of pure color.
Understanding color as a force in itself, they freed color from the mere matching of reality and gave it an independent, evocative power. When the group first exhibited their canvases to a shocked Parisian audience in 1905, viewers dismissed these artists as “les fauves” (the wild beasts).
Despite the uproar, Matisse and his fellow Fauves quickly emerged as some of the most influential artistic innovators of the early 20th century. Matisse himself would become a major force in modern art, his legacy rivaled only by Pablo Picasso.
Henri Matisse: Harmonious Color traces the arc of the artist’s long career, from the explosive Fauve masterpieces of his early years through his late works of the 1940s and ’50s. While his aesthetic interests evolved across the decades, he continuously explored the opulence and sensuality of brilliant color.
Left: Henri Matisse, Bowl of Apples on a Table, oil on canvas, 1916, Chrysler Museum of Art.
Right: Henri Matisse, Pianist and Checker Players, oil on canvas, 1924, National Gallery of Art.