(January 4–March 16, 2014)

Matisse as Printmaker

Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation

Organized by the American Federation of the Arts and the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, this exhibition completed a national tour in 2011 that was so critically acclaimed (according to The Washington Times, it “refreshed the typical view of Matisse”) that three more venues were added; the Cornell was one of them.

The exhibition was drawn from the collection of Matisse’s son Pierre and included more than sixty works which illustrated every printmaking medium the artist utilized (etchings, monotypes, aquatints, lithographs, linocuts in black and white and two-color prints). Together, they showcased the extraordinary range of Matisse's printmaking techniques and subjects and provided a rich examination of an understudied part of his oeuvre.  

Recognized foremost as a painter and sculptor, Matisse (1869–1954) was also deeply engaged throughout his career in exploring other mediums and the unique possiblities they offered for creative expression.  Matisse saw printmaking as an extension of drawing, which was integral to the whole of his art.  As Guest Curator Jay Fisher writes in the exhibition's catalogue, "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."  Printmaking captured the phases of Matisse's artistic process—a process that resulted in a refined image of his subject.

With its diverse selection of works from different periods in Matisse's career, Matisse as Printmaker:  Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation provided a comprehensive examination of the artist's relationship with the printmaking medium and the role it played in the evolution of his visual ideas.  The exhibition offered a persuasive argument that Matisse's prints merit appreciation and consideration not only in relation to his painting but in their own right.

Matisse as Printmaker was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Bessemer Trust. 

The AFA is a nonprofit institution that organizes art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishes exhibition catalogues, and develops educational materials and programs. The AFA’s mission is to enrich the public’s experience of art and understanding of culture by organizing and touring a diverse offering of exhibitions embracing all aspects of art history. The AFA has organized or circulated approximately 3,000 exhibitions with presentations in museums in every state, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa that have been viewed by more than 10 million people. For more information, seewww.afaweb.org.

Founded in 1907, Bessemer Trust is a privately owned wealth and investment management firm that focuses exclusively on ultra-high-net-worth families and their foundations and endowments. The firm oversees $91 billion for over 2,200 clients and provides an integrated approach to the investment, trust, estate, tax, and philanthropic needs of its clients.  For more information go to www.bessemer.com.

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