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Centre Pompidou, Paris

13 May – 31 August 2020

His paintings are as youthful as ever, but as Henri Matisse turns 150, the Pompidou is celebrating with the biggest retrospective on the artist since his centenary. What is there still to say about this perennially beloved French artist? Plenty – how fitting, then, that the curators have turned to writers to say it. The exhibition, which is divided into nine novelistic ‘chapters’, focuses on Matisse’s relationship with literature, including collaborations with the poets Stéphane Mallarmé and Louis Aragon, and even exploring the painter’s own experiments with text.

Henri Matisse, La Blouse roumaine, avril 1940 © Succession H. Matisse

Henri Matisse, Nu debout, fougère noir, 1948 © Succession H. Matisse

Henri Matisse, Vitrail bleu pâle, novembre 1948 - janvier 1949 © Succession H. Matisse

Henri Matisse, Marguerite au chat noir, 1910 © Succession H. Matiss

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

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