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Studio Index @MuseumofModernArt

An exhibition in a museum with an enjoyable scale, mask optional, beautiful paintings, presented in a way one learns more about the artist, the artistic period, and the history of its time. It is my favorite way to view art. The MoMA exhibition, “Matisse: The Red Studio,” captures all these positive components. Sometimes looking at a series of paintings in a museum can make one a bit weary. This “Matisse: The Red Studio” exhibit exhilarates and energizes the viewer. It also propels one to see the other floors of the permanent collection with a fresh eye and a deeper insight on how to look at and think about art. “The Red Studio” becomes a studio index for the other paintings on the walls surrounding the 6 foot x 7 foot Red Studio panel. MoMA was successful in assembling and displaying all the paintings pictured in “The Red Studio.” This commissioned painting of a studio was originally painted in the natural colors of the studio’s blue and green walls and wood floors. Matisse then did a reset of not just this painting but of his art. He rapidly repainted all the walls, ceilings and floor in red. His patron who commissioned the piece, upon seeing it, rejected it as did the art critics when the piece was exhibited in Paris, the Armory in New York, and at the Art Institute of Chicago. Matisse, who is a favorite fauve painter, was ridiculed for this piece that went unsold for years. Hidden from view for years and only some 20 years later, found a buyer who placed it in his fashionable nightclub. Matisse did not include any of his earlier fauve paintings in “The Red Studio” but instead included his more recent calmer and more decorative paintings that he hung on his studio wall, some shown as you scroll through. Creativity is ideas that come in many forms. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes years, and sometimes generations for an expression of creativity to resonate with the public at large. “The Red Studio” resonates with us now. Congratulations to MoMA for another great show. *Studio Index

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