Matisse: A Retrospective

Jack Flam, Author, Jack Flan, Editor Hugh Lauter Levin Associates $75 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88363-073-0
Matisse's detractors accused him of creating ugly or disturbing pictures: Jean Cocteau compared him to a crayfish, groping and moving backwards, while other critics tagged his art of pure-color harmonies with labels like decorative or Fauve. Yet Matisse's work defies easy classificationas one would expect of an artist who insisted there was no single, true way of seeing reality and said he simply painted what he saw, at each turn of his career. Blending excellent color plates with writings on Matisse by critics of his day, famous contemporaries and scholars, this album lets readers follow the continuing debate. Pointillist landscapes, Oriental interiors, classical bronzes, sensitive pencil sketches, portraits and jazzy paper cut-outs mark Matisse's shifting perspectives. Threading through the commentaries are down-to-earth letters by Matisse himself in which he matter-of-factly goes about his business. Flam is the author of Matisse: The Man and His Art. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-8109-2583-0
Hardcover - 392 pages - 978-0-517-03292-3
Hardcover - 523 pages - 978-0-8014-1840-2
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