Evolving Toward Ecstasy Essay
Evolving Toward Ecstasy
This art review by Robert Smith is on a Matisse Exhibition that was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last November, “Matisse: In Search of True Painting. ” The name of this article comes from a quote from Matisse himself, where he claims to work “towards what I feel; toward a kind of ecstasy. ” From the beginning of the article, Smith raves about this exhibit. He calls it “one of the most thrillingly instructive exhibitions about this painter, or painting in general, that you may ever see. ” His excitement for it is unmistakable, but this may be a biased opinion, as he seems to be a huge fan of Matisse himself.
He seems genuinely impressed with Rebecca Rabinow, a curator of modern and contemporary art, and how she put the exhibit together, but his love for the artist most likely influenced his view. He praises the decision to show Matisse’s penchant for copying pieces and working in series. Two still life arrangements with fruit and compote are included along with four views of Notre Dame as seen from Matisse’s window and many other series and copies. He describes the exhibit as spacious as it is spread out through eight different galleries. In each pair or group of works, a mini seminar is created according to Smith.
He goes into detail about how you could spend your entire visit in the second and third galleries with their sailors, nudes with white scarves and “contrasting psychological chords and spatial treatments of the Laurettes. ” He comments on the textbook simplicity of how the exhibit is set up, letting your eyes wander through the different styles, textures, colors and overall effect of Matisse’s works. There is no doubt that Smith has a very positive view of this Exhibition. He applauds the 49 exceptional works chosen, for how they skim across Matisse’s long and productive career.
In this review, he discusses a large amount of Matisse’s works, which sways from the point of the article, which was to critique the exhibition. His support for it is blatant, but he may have gone off on too much of a tangent on his love for Matisse and his works of art. This review could be beneficial to readers, but it could also be misleading if you aren’t already a fan of Matisse’s art. He aggrandizes the exhibit as a whole, so its not really clear if the quality is really there, or if he’s just smitten with the artist displayed.