The following two short videos provide brief glimpses of Henri Matisse at work in his studio. In the first from 1946, he draws a portrait of his grandson, Gerard, with charcoal. In the second, he was filmed near the end of his life “drawing with scissors,” which is how he described his method of working with hand-colored papers.
Besides the rare opportunity to see Matisse at work, we can also hear his voice in the first video. He is explaining how he thinks about drawing. His comments translated into English are:
“Me, I believe that painting and drawing are the same thing. Drawing is a painting done in a simpler, limited way. On a white surface, a sheet of paper, with a pen and some ink, one creates a certain contrast with volumes; one can change the quality of the paper given supple surfaces, light surfaces, hard surfaces without always adding shadow or light. For me, drawing is a painting with limited means.”
Lydia Delectorskaya, Hôtel Régina, Nice, c. 1953
Courtesy Henri Matisse Archives
Jaqueline Duhême standing in front of designs for the Tree of Life stained-glass window for the Chapel of the Rosary, Vence.
Matisse at the Hôtel Régina, Nice, c. 1949 Photographer: Lydia Delectorskaya© Succession Henri Matisse
Matisse working on a cut-out, c. 1949.
Jacqueline Duhême, one of Matisse’s studio assistants in the late 1940s, describes how he made his cut-outs here.
In our continuing series of peeks into artist studios — a unique item. A rare 2 1/2 minute film that shows Monet painting his waterlily pond in Giverny in 1914. And his little dog, too.
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, c. 1915
Neue Pinakothek, Munich Germany
[Thanks to Vincent Pidone for the tip.]
The Clark Institute’s new museum wing and reflecting pool.
Photo: Tucker Blair
On July 4th, the long awaited $145 million addition and renovation of the Clark Art Institute opened. A beloved museum in the Berkshires, the Clark has been for decades everyone’s secret discovery. Planning began in 2001 and all signs (including a recent review in the New York Times) pointed to an extraordinary success.
Sadly, it is far from that. Like the Brooklyn Museum’s new entrance unveiled in 2004, the addition is an unfriendly imposition that ignores the spirit of the original architecture and is at odds with the collection it houses. Designed by Tadao Ando, the extension and landscaping dishonors its founders with an anonymous space that could be any museum in the world, not one of the crown jewels of New England. It seems far too meaningful that the Styrofoam backed panels on “The Clark Story” and the portraits of the founders, are now relegated to the basement (sorry, Lower Lobby) — with the rest rooms.