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Description - Matisse: The Red Studio by Ann Temkin

In 2022, The Museum of Modern Art and the Statens Museum for Kunst will present an ambitious dossier exhibition focusing on Henri Matisse's Red Studio from 1911. The large painting depicts the artist's work environment in Issy-les-Moulineaux, crowded with his own canvases, sculptures, furniture and decorative objects. Matisse's radical decision to saturate the work's surface with red has continued to fascinate generations of scholars and artists. Yet much remains to be explored in terms of the painting's genesis and history. This show presents a unique opportunity to assess Matisse's painting anew. The first gallery of the exhibition will reunite The Red Studio - in MoMA's collection since 1949 - with the works depicted in it (three of them belong to the Statens Museum for Kunst). Ranging from 1898 to 1911, they span the artist's career up to that date and combine both familiar and lesser-known pieces. The second gallery of the exhibition will retrace the painting's complex history, from the artist's studio in the Parisian suburb to its subsequent international travels and reception. We will explore, for example, how The Red Studio was originally conceived for the Muscovite collector Sergei Shchukin; how it was later included in the famous 1913 Armory Show; how it was on display for fifteen years on the walls of a London social club; and its eventual acquisition by MoMA. A rich selection of archival materials such as photographs, catalogues, letters, and press clippings will join artworks by Matisse and others on display.

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