Rollins has the honor to present French artist Henri Matisse’s works at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. The exhibition was brought to our campus by curator Jay Fisher, an admirer of the impressive prints.
Henri Matisse, world-renowned French painter and sculptor, has long held a special place in my art-fanatic heart. For as long as I can remember, I have carted a print of his painting, Les Poissons Rouges, from state to state and country to country, admiring the brilliant, contrasting colors and how he managed to make chaos look intentional and, well, wonderful. It was to my delight that the Cornell Fine Arts Museum announced a new installment of prints by Matisse back in November.
Jay Fisher, the curator for the collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art, journeyed to Winter Park to formally introduce the exhibition at an event, whose popularity quickly filled the small museum. In his lecture, Mr. Fisher described Matisse as “a very generous artist” in reference to his prints, “because he wanted to share his method of thinking.” In conversation after the lecture, Mr. Fisher commented that it was always wonderful to handle the works of Matisse. “Every time I return to him, I discover something new,” he remarked.
The collection includes etchings, monotypes, aquatints, lithographs, linocuts, and two-color prints—every printmaking medium used by Matisse. Although the color that Matisse manipulated and utilized so well in most of his works is virtually absent from the exhibition, it is eye-catching nonetheless. With the use of stark, solid black lines on a crisp white background, Matisse is able to say so much with so little. My personal favorite in the collection is a series done in 1929 of a young, elegant looking woman staring into a fishbowl.
The night of the Matisse lecture was the first time I had ventured over to CFAM, and I will certainly be returning in the future, if only to make sure I was not dreaming when I saw a Gainsborough on one wall and a Rubens on the other. The exhibition will be on display at the museum from January 4 through March 16 and is made possible by the Bessemer trust, whose generosity also allows us to peruse incredible works of art on our own campus like these for free.