Monday, August 9, 2010

On the Balcony with Matisse

On the weekends our apartment sometimes takes on a feeling of being at a cottage. I remember all the times that Bill took work with him to Haliburton or Muskoka.
He would often settle at the cottage dinner table to redraw a penciled area, or add a wash of colour and let it dry. This Sunday afternoon finds him working at his desk.
My little corner of the balcony acts as my Muskoka Room.  That's the catalogue to the Matisse show that's at MOMA right now, waiting for me on the balcony -- Matisse: Radical Invention 1913-1917.
Time for a good look.
I love the cover -- all those bluish grays! And look at this reproduction of a painting called, simply, Composition, 1915, from MoMA's own collection. So gorgeous!
Matisse was interviewed in 1931, by Margaret Scolari Barr. She writes: "The green frame of the window suggests the green of the trees outside and the cool contrast of the green of the trees and the blue sky necessitated the large mass of yellow which to the artist signifies the vibration and pleasure which he derived from the contrast of trees and sky."
Bill's taking a break and I've asked him to take this portrait of me.
One of my favourite Matisse paintings: Interior with Goldfish, 1914, from the Centre Pompidou.
This catalogue has fascinating details of the featured paintings. I love the way the water is painted and the way the fish seem to flicker with life.
I look up for a minute at our beautiful balcony. That's a bay tree at the back, with a very happy rosemary bush beneath.
Another stunning Matisse: The Moroccans, 1916, again from MoMA's collection.
The catalogue suggests that Matisse got his inspiration for this use of black paint from Manet and Picasso and this Cezanne: The Black Clock, 1867-69.
One thing I love about looking at art books is that the world seems transformed afterwards -- like this beautiful glass of water.


  1. Your blog often transforms how I view things.

  2. Kim, I can't think of higher praise. You've made my morning.
    Uncle John

  3. I do agree. I saw this exhibition in NYC. And I agree with Kim about my feelings when I look at many of your pictures.
    Qu├ębec City

  4. Well thank you for writing, Quebec City. Glad you're having fun, too. We'll be going to see the show in October, just before it closes. Matisse is one of my favourites.

  5. I love to use black paint in my own work. I was told once during a juried competition (which I received an honorable mention actually) that my work took on Matisse qualities and Chagall as well. I love them both. Picasso was my first real love. I adore Kilmt with all my heart. Really lovely balcony. The decor is beautifully done.

  6. Hej, Altaner. Glad you enjoyed it. Hej hej, John