Saturday, May 29, 2010
Matisse and Black
APPLES" by HENRI MATISSE
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Chicago Art Institute. Two times! There is a special exhibit focusing on a pivotal period of Matisse's long career(1913-1917). The exhibit will be on display until June 20, 2010.
I was not very informed on Matisse's work or influences. The exhibit provided fascinating insights to both well-known and obscure art as well as his contribution to his countrymen during this unstable period of history.
My first trip to the exhibit left me inspired by this quote displayed by his painting "Gourds":
"[Matisse] began to use pure black as a color of light and not as a color of darkness."
As a watercolorist, I was taught to avoid using pure black because of its tendency to deaden a painting. In recent years, acrylic has been my primary medium and I still tend to avoid using black. But the paintings in this area of the exhibit and taking in this quote became an "AHA!" moment for me.
"Gourds" wasn't as interesting to me as "Apples". It's hard to explain my fascination with this painting. It looks so simple, but it holds my attention. I had to go back and study it again on my trip last weekend.
The color scheme of my last post, a journal spread for the GPP Street Team Crusade, was influenced by this painting. I love being inspired by the masters.