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Matisse Picasso

























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Matisse's Pink Nude
Matisse - "Pink Nude" (1935)
Picasso's Nude in Black Chair
Picasso - "Nude in a Black Armchair" (1932)
"...when they hang side by side, the paintings don't merely allude to each other. They gesture broadly, ahistorically, in each other's direction. They are so much more than signposts to the inner lives of their creators that they seem to abandon the painters who made them... Paintings wink at each other, whether they're side by side or across the room from each other. The Matisses turn into Picassos and vice versa, until identity becomes the last thing that matters. After a while, the paintings refuse to let on who made them, as if to insist that what matters, after all, is their survival, not the vanishing lives of ordinary mortals."

~ excerpted, Verlyn Klinkenborg, for The New York Times

"Matisse and Picasso Bring Their Old Rivalry to Queens Boulevard"
Verlyn Klinkenborg, for The New York Times


"In 1918, an art dealer named Paul Guillaume decided to organize a Matisse/Picasso show; the two were, after all, the pre-eminent painters in Paris, and he hoped to take advantage of an emerging art market. To promote the show, Guillaume sent out a press release (still a relatively new thing) and turned to Apollinaire for a little ghostwriterly flair, which he duly got:

M. Paul Guillaume, whose taste cannot be spoken of too highly, just had the most unusual and unexpected idea, that of bringing together in the same exhibition the two most famous representatives of the two grand opposing tendencies in great contemporary art.

Guillaume intended to get attention and make some money. Instead, through Apollinaire, he accomplished what curators hope to do but rarely manage: He helped invent how we would think of these painters - in this case, as adversaries. From the mouths of tendentious poets to the walls of MoMA."

~ excerpted, Meghan O'Rourke, for Slate

"Art Enemies"
the press release that sparked the Matisse-Picasso rivalry
Meghan O'Rourke, for Slate

"Matisse Picasso"
Museum of Modern Art - Queens

through May 19, 2003

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