Tag Archives: Matisse

Crouching Woman

Going back to look again at William Tucker’s book, I find my original impression confirmed—it’s really great. Ideas come tumbling out at every turn of the page. Here’s one insight from the chapter on Rodin: “With the Prodigal Son and … Continue reading

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Time and Motion

British artist Tom Phillips, cited on this blog before, wrote a very interesting review of the Matisse cut-out show. He mentions a film of the artist at work which shows “…Matisse in his wheelchair cutting paper with scissors….Matisse often associated … Continue reading

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Old Matisse a Master

My reservations about T.J.Clark have been expressed on this blog, but I still like to read him, because he’s a rare art historian who actually gets it, who can feel art from the inside, not just shuffle it between theoretical … Continue reading

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Variable Decline

Adorno’s ruminations on the difficulty of “new music” include the following, which supports my own earlier comments on Richter-style abstraction and music: “Tonal complexes [in Wagner]…are already conceived in such a way as not to be perceived with the same … Continue reading

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Willful Matisse

Kitaj quotes Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk: “Dare to use your own will!” There was no painter more willful than Matisse, a strange characterization of the artist of harmonious serenity, but accurate. The Bathers in Chicago, Decorative Figure On An Ornamental … Continue reading

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A Dream

During a day of doubt my faith in abstraction was restored by this Matisse: The forms don’t line up as I like them to do, but they are beautifully piled on top of each other, interlaced and jostling for space. … Continue reading

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Pragmatic Matisse

When artists talk about art they are usually more down to earth and concrete than theorists or critics. But even most artists get vague and wooly when they leave technique and try to express essences. Matisse was exemplary in his … Continue reading

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Bad Art

Going back to the conversation between Christopher Green and T.J.Clark that I mentioned before, one of Clark’s comments bothered me. He said that “hack” artists, bad ones, are certain that they have found the right way to render modernity. In … Continue reading

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