Matisse - Diebenkorn

Henri Matisse, “The Blue Window,” 1913; oil on canvas; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: digital image; © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

Richard Diebenkorn, “Woman on a Porch”, 1958; oil on canvas; New Orleans Museum of Art, museum purchase through the National Endowment for the Arts Matching Grant; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

‘Matisse / Diebenkorn’ at SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is hosting the first major exhibition to explore the inspiration California artist Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) discovered in the work of Henri Matisse (1869–1954). March 11 through May 29, 2017.

Source: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Co-organized with The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and on view at SFMOMA from March 11 through May 29, 2017, this exhibition features approximately 100 objects — 40 paintings and drawings by Matisse and 60 paintings and drawings by Diebenkorn — from museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. After its presentation at The BMA from October 23, 2016 through January 29, 2017, SFMOMA will be the only West Coast venue for the exhibition.

“’Matisse/Diebenkorn’ is an incredible story of artistic inspiration, revealing how Diebenkorn’s enduring fascination with Matisse informed his own body of work in substantive and often surprising ways,” said Janet Bishop, Thomas Weisel Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture. “The exhibition casts new light on two artists represented in depth in SFMOMA’s holdings, and in fact several of the Matisse paintings now in our collection were among the very first paintings by the French artist that Diebenkorn ever saw.”

Diebenkorn’s first truly immersive experience of Matisse’s work occurred in Los Angeles in 1952, when he encountered such important Matisse paintings as “Goldfish and Palette” (1914) and “Interior at Nice” (1919 or 1920) in a traveling retrospective. Shortly after seeing this exhibition — a decade since his first experience of Matisse’s work — Diebenkorn began to incorporate elements of the French painter’s approach to painting into his own compositions, which is reflected in the brighter palette and new interest in structure evident in Diebenkorn’s “Urbana No. 5 (Beachtown)” (1953) and “Urbana No. 6” (1953). The opening galleries of the exhibition feature outstanding works from Diebenkorn’s Urbana and Berkeley periods (1953–1955) that demonstrate the significant impact of his early encounters with Matisse on his then predominantly abstract paintings.

Related content

Matisse: In Search of True Painting – Metropolitan Museum (exhibition, 2012)

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