Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Prints
Bernard Jacobson Gallery
UNTIL 23rd SEPTEMBER
So we’re all excited for the upcoming Matisse In the Studio at the Royal Academy (opens 5th August) but Bernard Jacobson is here with a Matisse exhibition to feed our modernist master cravings until then with a mixture of prints, drawings, sculpture and painting.
One of the standouts is L’artiste et le modèle nu, 1921, featuring a rare glimpse of the master himself at work (chilling in his PJS) depicting the relationship of the painter and his model, and recognizes the artifice of the scene. The model is Antoinette Arnoud, who took Lorette’s place as his model after a long search when he moved from Paris to a hotel in Nice in 1918 (where models were a rarity). She became one of his most important models although this is thought to be his last painting of her. The painting is characteristic of his time in Nice, where the scenes are infused with harmonious colour, light, and lots of intricate textiles in domestic interiors that delight the eye. Here they become more than just a backdrop, as she melts into her flowery armchair. It has been shown at The National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Guggenheim, New York, MoMA NY and most recently, The Matisse Museum in Nice (2015) and made £6,802,500 at Christie’s in 2014.
One of Matisse’s other sexy leading ladies, Lydia Delektorskaya (his favourite muse and studio assistant) appears in Nu aux jambes croisées (1936) attempting to ‘do a nude in the classical manner’ as she so diligently recorded in her daily notes. She looks comfortable – I’ve been known to fall asleep like this. Unlike unlike L’artiste et le modèle nu, it’s an intense focus on the body, the bolder colours take over from the wishy washy scenes of Nice, and the green of the wall and the plant behind her battle for our attention. But you’re probably too busy looking at the fleshy pink contours of her body. This painting was previously in the collection of the Jean Matisse.
I love gift shops.