The great autumn exhibition held at the Kunsthalle Mannheim includes a selection of some 135 paintings, sculptures, ceramics and graphic works that evidence how Matisse became “the artist’s artist” and then “a classical modern painter”. It displays figures and nudes and broadens the perspective by including landscapes and Mediterranean scenes as well as portraits and still lifes. Among the most impressive works are probably the four life-sized bronze nudes from behind that he reworked over a period of twenty years and are now considered as the summit of his art.
The exhibition underscores Matisse’s influence on artists of his time who embody three major currents in art history: French Fauvism (André Derain, Georges Braque, Charles Camoin, Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Othon Friesz, Henri Manguin, Albert Marquet, Maurice de Vlaminck), German Expressionism (Alexej von Jawlensky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Gabriele Münter, Max Pechstein) and the output of German students at the “Académie Matisse” (Rudolf Levy, Oskar and Margarethe Moll, Hans Purrmann, Mathilde Vollmoeller). All these works are presented in a dialog with Matisse and with each other, opening new perspectives.
The Mannheim exhibition includes loans from various private and public collections from across Germany as well as from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the catalogue Inspiration Matisse, in German, with essays by Ina Ewers-Schultz, Simon Kelly, Simone Klein, Astrid Köhler, Peter Kropmanns, Ulrike Lorenz, Colin Lemoine, Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, Jacqueline Munck, Eva-Maria Schütz and Christian Weikop (Editor: Prestel-Verlag, Munich, September 2019)