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Matisse as Printmaker at the Baltimore Museum of Art

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Exhibits, Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse is an artist of classical greatness and one of the strongest influences on the art of the 20th century. The Park West Gallery Collection is one of the world’s finest, showcasing fine art by masters including Henri Matisse. Browse the Park West Gallery – Matisse Collection >


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — The Baltimore Museum of Art presents the first comprehensive exhibition on the printmaking of the great French artist Henri Matisse. Matisse as Printmaker features approximately 170 works of art spanning 50 years of Matisse’s career. More than 150 prints, as well as a selection of related paintings, sculpture, drawings, and books are included, providing compelling evidence of the important role printmaking played in the evolution of Matisse’s visual ideas.

Henri Matisse. The Blue Eyes, 1935. ©2009 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Matisse as Printmaker loosely follows the chronology of Matisse’s career, from the artist’s earliest print in 1900 to the last in 1951. Examples of every printmaking technique used by Matisse — etchings, monotypes, lithographs, linocuts, aquatints, drypoints, woodcuts, and color prints — are included. Almost all of the prints involve serial imagery with the artist showing the development of a reclining or seated pose, the integration of models within interiors, the study of facial expressions, and the transformation of a subject from a straight representation to something more abstract or developed.

Illustrated books such as Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé (c. 1932), Pasiphaé (1944), and Jazz (1947) demonstrate Matisse’s brilliant innovations in the presentation of serial imagery. The artist’s brief experimentation with color printmaking is represented with three impressions of the color aquatint Marie-José en robe jaune (1950) and a print titled La Dance (1935), which captures the composition of his first version of the mural intended for Albert Barnes. Though most of the exhibitions and research to date have focused on Matisse’s painting and sculpture, the rich variety of media and subject matter in Matisse as Printmaker significantly advance the scholarship and public awareness of this understudied aspect of Matisse’s oeuvre. These works are rarely on view to the public due to their sensitivity to light.

Matisse as Printmaker is now on view through Jan. 3, 2010

For more information, please visit www.artbma.org


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