Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly October 23 – January 29, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 22, 4-8PM
Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly, a unique exploration of Henri Matisse’s drawings by one of America’s greatest abstract artists, provides new insight into the French master’s work. For this special exhibition, Ellsworth Kelly surveyed Matisse’s drawings from 1900 through 1950, revealing Matisse’s process and the range of his creativity as a draughtsman. Many of the 45 works on view, from quick sketches to highly detailed images, have rarely or never-before been exhibited. To accompany this display, Kelly selected work from his own large-scale Suite of Plant Lithographs (1964–66) for presentation in an adjacent gallery, illuminating both the sympathies and distinct differences between the two artists. The entire installation, including frame choice and placement of works, was conceived by Kelly, and this is among the last exhibitions on which he worked before his death (December 27, 2015). In his tribute to Kelly, Jerry Saltz described him as “the artist I now think of as the American Matisse.”
Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.
The exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation, and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.
This fall the KMA will host two of internationally renowned artist Mark di Suvero’s pioneering steel sculptures. Since the 1950s, di Suvero has transformed industrial materials such as wood timbers, tires, and scrap metal to create works that dynamize their setting. Visitors will find the space of the KMA’s South Lawn activated with Yoga (1991) and the Marilyn M. Simpson Sculpture Garden with Rust Angel (1995), works that exemplify di Suvero’s ability to imbue familiar sites with an original energy.