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Henri Matisse in studio, sculpting cast with chisel, Matisse METAMORPHOSES in orange and black font on white banner below.

Matisse - Metamorphoses

Edited by Kunsthaus Zürich
Contributions by Sandra Gianfreda
Contributions by Claudine Grammont
Contributions by Gaku Kondo
Contributions by Barbel Kuster
Contributions by Ellen McBreen
Contributions by Christian M. Schweizer


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  • Highlights Matisse's achievements as a sculptor, the least known part of his oeuvre, demonstrating parallels with his work in painting and drawing
  • Shows Matisse's sources of inspiration and offers insights into his creative process
  • Henri Matisse is one of the most significant and most popular modern masters
  • 2019 marks Matisse's 150th anniversary
Full Description

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is adored worldwide as a revolutionary painter and loved for his collages, or papiers découpés, the icons of his late work. His paintings and drawings for a long time overshadowed his achievements as a sculptor. Yet his Back Series, four bas-reliefs showing a nude, created between 1908 and 1930, are widely recognised as a milestone in modern sculpture. Starting out from the naturalistic depiction, Matisse gradually transformed it to reach a radically abstracted figure. Each of the four original plaster casts represents a decisive moment of this artistic process. This transformative process has parallels in Matisse’s painting and drawing. Published in conjunction with a major exhibition at Kunsthaus Zürich marking the artist’s 150th anniversary, this is the first book to explore the relation between metamorphosis and feedback in both main fields of the artist’s work. Documents of his diverse sources of inspiration for his sculptures – photographs of nudes, examples from African and ancient art – as well as images featuring Matisse at work as sculptor, round out this volume. It is a welcome addition to any art library, highlighting the llesser known side of this modern master. Text in French. Published to coincide with the exhibitions: Matisse-Metamorphoses at the Kunsthaus Zürich between 30 August and 8 December 2019, and ‘Musée Matisse’ in Nice between 15 February and 15 May 2020.

About the Author

Kunsthaus Zurich is one of Europe's leading art museums. Its permanent collection comprises masterpieces from medieval to contemporary art with a focus on French impressionism, post-impressionism, and classical modernism.

Scheidegger & Spiess
6th Nov 2019
Paperback / softback
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
270 mm x 220 mm
232 Pages
169 color, 37 b&w
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