Every new exhibition shows off a certain variety of art, but few use the actual works to give viewers a glimpse into the artist’s process. Matisse: In Search of True Painting, a new exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, however, does just this. The exhibit features 49 works from the modern French Master’s career, and focuses on his pairs or trios of paintings in which the same subject is depicted in a variety of ways.
Matisse constantly reevaluated his work, repeating the same composition several times to drive himself closer to the essence of his subject, or as Matisse put it, to “push further and deeper into true painting.” Each succession in Matisse’s series was an attempt to rediscover the heart of his painting, to gauge his process, and he was always striving to out-do his last work and push himself as a painter. Matisse’s evolutionary methods were a result of his academic training, during which he spent time copying paintings by the Old Masters in the Louvre. He then turned the process onto himself, where he explored new ways to capture the same scene, each work furthering him in his pursuit of “true painting.”
The exhibit opened this Tuesday, December 4th and will run until March 17th.