I recently visited the Matisse as Printmaker exhibit at The Blanton and fell in love. I hadn't set foot in this lovely little gem of a museum on The University of Texas campus since I was an art student at UT, and I'm really glad I've rediscovered it.
Henri Matisse was phenomenal! I've been a big admirer of his work since I first saw his Woman in a Purple Coat at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston on a high school field trip. Getting a long look at that wondrous painting up close & personal had a powerful effect on me and influenced my decision to pursue an art degree.
What has always astounded me about Matisse's work is his extremely adept handling of line. He had an uncanny ability to capture the essence of his subject matter with a few perfectly placed, wonderfully expressive lines. Matisse's magical way with line holds true for all of his artwork, be it a seemingly simple painting of lemons in a bowl or one of his colorful paper collages, but I find it especially lovely in the portraits he drew.
His Young Woman Contemplating a Goldfish Bowl (below), one of a series of etchings of women gazing at goldfish in a bowl, really knocked me out. I love the little details: the curls of hair, the overlapped hands and the way the ladies' chins rest on them, and of course the shapes of the goldfish themselves, all suggested by a few carefully observed lines. These lines by Matisse never seem over-worked. He placed them confidently & gracefully, without regard to perfection, which imparts so much energy and expressive character to his work.
Unfortunately, the Matisse as Printmaker exhibit at The Blanton is now closed & will soon be heading up to Canada for a showing at the Art Gallery of Alberta. But The Blanton has tons more to offer! They have very impressive & renowned permanent collections as well as an ongoing variety of temporary exhibitions.
And get this, admission is free every Thursday! How great is that? Get on over to The Blanton & treat your eyes to some fabulous art! Find all the details on their Visit page.
Young Woman Contemplating a Goldfish Bowl