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Exhibition of Forty Prints at Fundación BBK in Bilbao Shows Henri Matisse's Intimate Side
A woman reads a book in front of French painter Henri Matisse's engraving entitled 'Tete de femme en mascaron 1938' during the exhibition 'Henri Matisse's Exhibition. The Art of Engraving' at BBK Foundation gallery in Bilbao, Basque Country, northern Spain, 14 September 2010. The exhibition, running from 14 September until 30 October 2010, features 40 Matisse's engravings. EPA/ALFREDO ALDAI.
BILBAO.- The exhibition hall of the Fundación BBK in Bilbao hosts, from today until October 30, forty prints by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) in which the French painter shows his most intimate side.

For Matisse, printmaking and drawing were not a means to disseminate his work, "but to create an intimate space”, an idea that shows the parts of the exhibition, which includes two self-portraits and a portrait of his three grandchildren, as explained to the media by the curator of the exhibition, Martine Soria.

"I've always thought of the picture not as an exercise of special skill, but above all as a means to express inner feelings and moods," said the painter in 1939.

The exhibition features over forty works (selected from the eight hundred engravings he made throughout his life). The show follows the work of Matisse in this technique, from the first he made "Henri Mattisse gravant" (1900-1903 ) and also the last "Trois têtes. A l'amitié" (1951-1952), which is a picture of his grandchildren.

It also highlights the engraving entitled "Spring" (1938), with clean and soft lines, which is perhaps the highlight of the collection, although the curator has been unable to choose her favorite work because "all periods of Matisse are interesting, they lead to an evolution. "

Examples of every printmaking technique used by Matisse—etchings, monotypes, lithographs, linocuts, aquatints, drypoints, woodcuts, and color prints—are included. Almost all of the prints involve serial imagery with the artist showing the development of a reclining or seated pose, the integration of models within interiors, the study of facial expressions, and the transformation of a subject from a straight representation to something more abstract or developed.

Fundación BBK | Bilbao | Henri Matisse |




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