Bernard Jacobson is delighted to announce a wide ranging exhibition featuring more than 60 rare and important works from the gallery’s comprehensive collection of Matisse Prints, currently the largest and most significant collection of Matisse prints held by any commercial gallery in the world. Matisse is an artist we celebrate for his sumptuous use of colour but he was also a consummate master of line: a virtuosity employed to considerable effect throughout more than half a century of print making. These largely monochromatic works, created using a range of techniques, place him firmly as one of the greatest print makers of the 20th century and appear to us as fresh and vivacious now as the day they were made.
Printmaking was frequently used by Matisse as an extension of drawing and an opportunity for him to experiment with the use of simplified, sometimes almost abstract line. With printmaking, he could return repeatedly to favorite compositions, such as the seated or reclining female and adapt them to suit the demands of his artistic vision. Matisse describes this process of ‘visual editing’, as an attempt to capture the essence of his subject beyond the immediate beauty of the figure.