Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)

Together with Picasso, Matisse played a fundamental role in revolutionizing the world of modern art over the course of his sixty plus years as an artist. Primarily known for his paintings, Matisse embraced intense and unrealistic colors during his early years as an artist, typifying the Fauvist style. His work consistently displayed a mastery of his craft and a constant search to discover, in his own words, the “essential character of things.” The portrait of him seen in the show, a photograph by Brassaï, captures the artist in his workshop in 1939, one of the final years before cancer and surgeries left the artist wheelchair bound. As a result, up until his death in 1954, paper collage overtook painting as Matisse’s primary medium. His final painting was finished in 1951.