Arts Encounter #3

Before the event: I found out that my local art museum was showing an exhibit of Matisse drawings and I was interested to see what they were like. I did not know much about Matisse before I decided to go so I found out some basic information about him. He was a French artist. He was one of the leaders of the movement of Fauvism. One of his most famous paintings is Woman with a Hat which he painted in 1905. He also does work with sculptures.


During the event: I went on a weekday afternoon, so there was nobody else in the entire museum and it was a very cool feeling. It was silent, and I was able to take my time looking at each drawing and sketch. The sketches were all lined up in the 2 exhibit rooms in a figure 8 motion. When I walked into the museum, I was handed a pamphlet and told just that, that the sketches are arranged in a figure 8 and that’s how I would have to walk to follow along with the pamphlet. The exhibit was very cool, and because it was so quiet in the museum it really added another layer of “intensity” to the art. All of the sketches were done with almost the exact same materials. All of the sketches were either done in pencil, ink, or charcoal on paper. All of the titles of the pieces were very literal, such as “Woman in a chair” or “Large Self-Portrait” which I thought was interesting. I found this exhibit really interesting because to me, it seemed like a behind the scenes look at what artists go through while trying to create. These sketches are just sketches, but they are still very interesting to me. They might not have been very interesting to Matisse at the time, but they now give the public a sort of insight to what he was inspired by and what he was interested in, aside from his more well-known pieces of art.


This is the pamphlet I was given upon entering the museum


Questions: The entire time I was walking around this exhibit, I was wondering to myself, how were these sketches obtained? Were these hidden away somewhere in Matisse’s old works and supplies, or were these sketches put aside for them to be displayed just as they are being displayed now? I was also wondering on why he decided to be so literal with the naming of his sketches. Was that intentional by keeping short a brief, or was that a stylistic choice?

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