Matisse. Art in balance offers visitors a wide-ranging and carefully chosen selection of works that provide a broad overview of the artist’s creative capacity, covering his production as an engraver from 1938 until the last years of his life.
The exhibition’s theme focuses on the balance revealed by Matisse in each of his compositions: an art that affords beauty, serenity or passion by combining and bringing into play a combination of intense colours and the masterly use of black, which the artist so much admired in Odilon Redon’s lithographs.
The show reveals the mastery of Matisse as an engraver. Printmaking, which he considered to be an extension of drawing, played a fundamental role in his creative career: Matisse produced over 800 engravings throughout his life, using a variety of techniques. In the words of Jay McKean Fisher, “printmaking was Matisse’s primary means of demonstrating to his audience his working process, the character of his vision, and the way his drawing transformed what he observed” .
Matisse had been interested in printmaking techniques since his early years in Paris and had produced a series of occasional etchings. After the outbreak of World War II, he became increasingly active as a graphic artist. In 1941 he underwent surgery that kept him bedridden for most of the time. His operation and the Second World War had a decisive influence on most of his graphic production.
Although finding it difficult to paint, the artist was not discouraged, and even produced some of his most daring works, using techniques such as lithography, aquatint, linocut and paper cut-outs (gouaches découpées), in a mode of production he called “painting with scissors”.
VR and App Content
Paintings Drawings & Prints
Available Package Options
Collection and interpretation
More than 100 engravings and a drawing accompanied by a manuscript
The show’s documentation includes:
Proposed text for the exhibition hall
High-resolution images of all works
Scientific text and high-resolution images available for the catalogue
Past and Future Venues
El Olimpo Cultural Center, Merida (Mexico), January 25 - April 30, 2023
Diocesan Museum and Cathedral of Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain), July - October 2023
Las Francesas Exhibition Hall, Valladolid (Spain), November - December 2023