Matisse in Morocco

Jack Cowart, Author, John Elderfield, With, Pierre Schneider, With
Jack Cowart, Author, John Elderfield, With, Pierre Schneider, With ABRAMS $49.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1546-6
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Morocco's intense sunlight, bold architectural forms, lush gardens and flowers growing in profusion made a deep impact on Matisse during his two trips to North Africa in 1912-13. A shimmering seascape of the Bay of Tangier seems to prefigure his later subjective, decorative style. This catalogue of a traveling exhibit reproduces Matisse's 23 Morocco paintings in color (12 of them never before seen in the U.S.). It also includes more than 60 of his quirky Morocco drawings studded with motifs--open windows, Casbah nudes, room interiors, cafes--that would later figure prominently in his painting. Matisse's simplified, vibrant oil portraits of ordinary Moroccans anticipate his theatrical odalisques. Overall, these transitional pictures mark his move away from Fauvism toward a personal exploration of the theme of reality vs. artifice. Cowart, a National Gallery curator, organized the show with a team of French, American and Soviet scholars. (May)
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