ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Henri Matisse
WHO: Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse
WHAT: Painter (also, printmaker, sculptor, draughtsman)
WHERE: Paris, France
WHEN: 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954
FAMOUS FOR: Matisse is famous for revolutionizing the way that artists approach painting and sculpture. Some of his most famous works, such as Woman with a hat (1905), La Danse (1909), and Red Room (Harmony in Red) (1908), illustrate the way that his art broke preexisting bounds and challenged artists to push further than ever before. Together with other Fauvists, Matisse expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject’s natural colours.
Having traveled in Northern Africa and being exposed to the decorative flourishes of Islamic art, the shapes of African Sculpture, and flatness of Japanese prints, Matisse’s works shook traditional painting at the time. His paintings are enjoyable experiences that are “a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair”, but also contain a measure of deliberately unsettling colors.
I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it. -Henri Matisse