By María D. Valderrama
Paris, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- The Pompidou Center in Paris offers a way to escape the autumnal grey skies and the downtrodden atmosphere in the French capital this year with a retrospective on the master of color and joy, Henri Matisse.
The red backgrounds, vibrant still life pieces and orientalist nudes were not, however, the secret to happiness for the 20th century French artist but rather his own pictorial exploration, a way in which he could hide his anxieties and expand his canvasses.
The public often associates Matisse with the idea of joy, but those perceptions can be misguided, the exhibition’s commissioner, Aurélie Verdier, tells Efe.
“All of his art is an attempt to hide what was in fact intense and laborious work,” Verdier says.
The exhibition, which had been due to open in May but was pushed back by the pandemic, coincides with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Matisse’s birth.
Dance, Joy of Life, The Three Sisters, among many others, are to be exhibited alongside his portraiture, self-portraiture, sketches and stained glass pieces until 22 February.
In total the exposition brings together 230 works of art spanning Matisse’s five0decade career, which began in the 1890s and continued until just before his death in 1954.
Many of the canvases and documents on display have been loaned by museums across France and further afield. A number of the pieces are normally stowed away in the archives of the Pompidou given their fragility.
“The visitor will discover in all their dimensions the techniques used by Matisse, of course his paintings but also his drawings,” Verdier says, adding that his lesser known sculptures and his collage work also form part of the exhibition.