Henri Matisse, 1953
Anna and I have taken to going to hear the Metropolitan Opera at our local movie theatre from time to time. A really big screen for an opera certainly beats listening to it on a radio as I have done when I can on the weekend. At the movie theatre the opera comes alive with careful camera work, and at intermission we get a chance to hear live interviews with principal cast members – what’s not to like?
So last night we found ourselves at the movie theatre again, but this time to see something very different, and my guess is that it was not well publicized because there were only a few people in the audience on a Tuesday night. But we were the lucky ones to have a guided tour through an art exhibition – The Matisse Cut-outs to be precise – and the show was terrific!
For those of us who could not get to The Tate in London, the Matisse show will be in New York City until early February, so there is still some time… But the film we saw was much more than a guided tour through the rooms at the Tate, and to a lesser degree, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The movie tells us much more about the curators and directors of each institution – in this case Nicholas Serota is very impressive with his ability to shape the show that we see especially in a challenging room of “Blue Nudes”at the Tate in London.
Henri Matisse with his color papers on the wall
The movie also includes special music to go with Matisse’s book called “Jazz”, and there is also a stunning dance sequence with Zenaida Yanowsky from the Royal Ballet to savor. I loved the historical footage of Matisse at work with a pair of scissors, and the first person dialog with Matisse’s assistant, and also with Francoise Gilot who was with Pablo Picasso during this period.
So, if you can’t get to see the exhibitions, at least there is this fine movie to take in, and you’ll be glad you did.
Zulma by Henri Matisse. 1950