NICE.- On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its Musée Matisse, the City of Nice is presenting, for the first time, 8 simultaneous exhibitions in homage to Henri Matisse and his work. Jean-Jacques Aillagon has been given the curatorship of this cultural event entitled Nice 2013. A summer for Matisse.
8 EXHIBITIONS THROUGHOUT THE CITY
From the heights of Cimiez to the Promenade des Anglais, passing through the Old Town of Nice, 8 exhibitions, presented simultaneously in 8 local galleries, invite visitors to come on a unique journey which will take them from the Musée Matisse, to the Musée dArchéologie, to the Théâtre de la Photographie et de lImage, to the Musée dArt Moderne et dArt Contemporain, to the Palais Lascaris, to the Galerie des Ponchettes, to the Villa Masséna and to the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The City of Nice is the second city in France, after Paris, for the numbers of visitors to its city museums, with nearly 700,000 in 2012, and wished to pay homage on a suitably grand scale to the character, the work and the legacy of this painter who loved the capital of the Côte dAzur, while at the same time highlighting the diversity of its museums.
MATISSE AND NICE
At the beginning of September 1905, the art critic Félix Fénéon bought Matisse a train ticket which enabled him to discover Cannes, Nice, Monaco and Menton. Matisse was from the North region, born in Cateau-Cambrésis. Twelve years later, in December 1917, Matisse returned to Nice and settled into a small room in the Hôtel Beau-Rivage. The painters encounter with Nice was a complete revelation. He spent nearly 40 years in Nice and the surrounding area, until his death on 3 November 1954, and throughout this time the artist honoured the Côte dAzur with unwavering fidelity and passion. It was from here he was to draw the inspiration which gave rise to numerous masterpieces.
A CULTURAL EVENT OF GREAT STATURE
The exhibitions of Nice 2013. A summer for Matisse have benefited from loans from the most prestigious French and foreign museums : Centre Pompidou, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Mobilier national, Château de Versailles, Musée dOrsay, Musée national Gustave Moreau, Museum of Modern Art in New York, National Gallery of Art in Washington, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum
There have also been numerous loans from Musées de France, especially from those museums located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-dAzur region, as well as from private collections. A total of more than 700 works are therefore be on show to the public.
8 LOCATIONS / 8 EXHIBITIONS
1 - AT THE MUSÉE MATISSE, MATISSE. THE MUSIC IN THE WORK
Of course, music and colour have nothing in common, but they follow parallel routes. said Matisse. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Musée Matisse, this exhibition explores the intimate link which brings together the artist and the music whose performance and instruments constitute one of the recurrent iconographic themes of his work. In addition, greater study reveals the resonances which exist between the characteristics of musical notation and those of the visual art of Matisse. This anniversary is also an opportunity for the museum to present, on the exhibition opening day itself, the monumental work La Piscine, donated to the City of Nice, for its Musée Matisse, by Claude and Barbara Duthuit, descendants of Matisse. It is a ceramic work created by following gouache paper cut-outs from 1952 conserved at MoMA and composed of two panels 2 metres high and 8 metres wide.
2 - AT THE MUSÉE DARCHÉOLOGIE, CIMIEZ SITE, ON THE SUBJECT OF SWIMMING POOLS
The Musée dArchéologie, located at the foot of the Musée Matisse and in the midst of ancient remains, those of the thermal baths and those of the baptistery of a paleo-Christian church, is exhibiting works from contemporary artists who have taken an interest in the theme of the swimming pool, water and the perception of bodies immersed in water. These works are presented among ancient objects from the museums collections which take us back, by way of their decoration or their function, to the same watery theme. They all pertain to the fields of photography (Lucien Clergue, Marie-Paule Nègre, Catherine Larré
), video (Bill Viola, Daniel Larrieu
) or cinema (A Bigger Splash by Jack Hazan with David Hockney).
3 - AT THE THÉÂTRE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE ET DE LIMAGE (TPI), WOMEN, MUSES AND MODELS (ENCOUNTERS BETWEEN THE AMEDEO M. TURELLO COLLECTION AND THE WORK OF MATISSE)
The Amedeo M. Turello collection brings together works by masters of photography who have concerned themselves with the beauty and malleability of the female body (Edward Weston, André Kertesz, Willy Ronis, Cindy Sherman, etc). The female nude, a great subject in European art, indeed found in photography an innovative means of expression at the same time as twentieth century artists such as Matisse continued, with their own creative process, to use it as one of the preferred subjects for their creations. This exhibition therefore presents a unique dialogue between sculptures of Matisse and works from the Amedeo M. Turello collection.
4 - AT THE MUSÉE DART MODERNE ET DART CONTEMPORAIN (MAMAC), GOOD MORNING MONSIEUR MATISSE!
Leading exponent of modern art and iconic painter of the Côte dAzur, Henri Matisse wielded considerable influence over several generations of artists. From a purely formal point of view his influence is omnipresent, but the use of direct imagery from his paintings, a phenomenon which has been less highlighted, is just as exciting. The exhibition presented at MAMAC therefore puts in perspective the iconographic legacy of Matisse to contemporary artists, both American and European, who have chosen to favour direct reference to works by Matisse, such as Larry Rivers, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann as well as Erró, Niki de Saint Phalle, Alain Jacquet and many others
5 - AT THE PALAIS LASCARIS, MATISSE. THE Jazz YEARS
The exhibition presents the genesis of the album Jazz, an artists book which Matisse wrote between 1943 and 1947. By delving into the context of this work, especially Matisses affinity with jazz, the exhibition introduces the visitor to the very heart of Matisses creative process. It also invites him to discover, in this baroque palace of the Old Town of Nice, rich with a remarkable collection of musical instruments, the musical history of a town where jazz aroused and continues to arouse a very particular passion.
6 - AT THE GALERIE DES PONCHETTES, MATISSE ON THE BILL
This exhibition highlights the affiliation which Matisse enjoyed with the advertisement poster, especially through the close relationship he had developed with his printer, Fernand Mourlot. Posters illustrating the legacy of Matisse to the creativity of contemporary advertising is also being shown.
7 - AT THE MUSÉE MASSÉNA, PALM TREES, PALM LEAVES AND PALMETTES
A recurrent motif in the work of Matisse and indeed a sign of the way this man from the north, born in Cateau-Cambrésis, had taken root in the Mediterranean, the palm tree and its stylised form, the palmette, are never far from the artistic landscape of western culture. From victory to joie de vivre, via sacrifice and martyrdom, this exhibition evokes the diversity of symbols among which the representation of the palm tree has flourished successively, in the visual arts as much as in decorative production. It highlights the contemporary assimilation of this essence of the very representation of the Côte dAzur for which it has become one of its symbolic attributes. In this respect, the work of Matisse falls partly within a cultural history of forms which goes beyond it.
8 - AT THE MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS GUSTAVE MOREAU, THE MASTER OF MATISSE
This exhibition, conceived in partnership with the Musée national Gustave Moreau, showcases Moreaus qualities as a painter and teacher, whose studio Matisse frequented. In other words, it is concerned with the early origins of the work of Matisse as found in Moreau. As Matisse himself said, It is to Gustave Moreau that I owe my acquaintance with the Louvre, as no-one went there any longer. Moreau took us there, teaching us to see, to question the masters. Gustave Moreau was an artist of the nineteenth century but he nevertheless presaged in many ways the prodigious evolution of art in the twentieth century. This exhibition invites us to take a fresh look at the work of Moreau through the work of Matisse who was able to be his student without being his disciple.