Me, having coffee right after the exhibition. Do you see the La Gerbe in the milk foam? :-)

La perruche et la sirène, 1952-53
Memory of Oceania, 1952-53

Naturally, I am drawn to art that is colorful and light. Not particularly light in a way that it means meaningless, but light in a way like there is room for air. Room to examine the artwork in an innocent – or maybe even ignorant – way. Matisse gives me that room and therefore, is one of my favorite artists. The Stedelijk Museum invited me to preview their upcoming Matisse exhibition yesterday: the first big Matisse exhibition in the Netherlands in 60 years.  I could not be happier to do so.

The exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, that will be open for visitors from Friday the 27th of March on, gives a great overview of Matisse's life through his works. They show his early works – when he was still a worthy advocate of the prevailing art academy style – as well as his late – almost abstract - work. What is interesting to see is the journey that Matisse made throughout his career. From making figurative, classic works as a youngster, he evolved into the innovative artist that we know today.

The exhibition takes you on a trip along impressionism, expressionism, pointillism, fauvism and complete abstraction and shows the artworks of Matisse alongside artworks of his contemporaries and admirers such as Rothko and Mondriaan.

As a regular of the Stedelijk, I obviously already knew most of the artworks that are exhibited alongside the master of color and simplicity, as they are part of the Stedelijk's permanent collection. Still I find it an incredible idea to show them in relation to the collected works of Matisse, as it let me see them in a different light. I got a grasp of the artists’ timeframes, their inspirations and experiments.

I guess I can say I actually learned a lot from visiting the exhibition. By studying both Matisse's works and those in the permanent collection it felt like both an inspirational and educational exhibition. Especially as it often puts the artworks in - a sometimes unexpected - context. 

And maybe even more important, seeing this overload of Matisse artworks reminded me why I love art as much as I do. It motivates me to keep experimenting and never let routine and structure control my life. The fact that Matisse made his most innovative works in the last stage of his life, means that we are all just on the way up. A great prospect right? :-)

You can visit the exhibition from March 27 until August 16. Check out the Stedelijk Museum for more info. Will you let me know if you went?

And thank you Stedelijk Museum for the great experience. 

Happy Thursday!


Images by Vereniging Rembrandt and Phaidon.

Want to learn more about Matisse before you decide to visit the Stedelijk? Check out this great BBC documentary!

And a little video to really get you in the mood. :-)

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