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Artwork Review - Pink Nude by Matisse
Posted by Graphica on 12/22/2008 3:22:46 PM (ET)
Filed Under: General
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Matisse documented this work in progress over a six-month period by twenty-one photographs that show how he slowly simplified and exaggerated the model’s proportions to create a monumental decorative composition. Gradually, his use of color became flatter and he made the checked surfaces of background and foreground more geometric to offset the sinuous curves of the figure.

Matisse - Pink Nude

PINK NUDE (1935)
Oil on Canvas

The woman’s right elbow and left hand extend out of the picture frame, as do her feet. This design device expands the figure to fill the whole picture space and creates a rhythmic flow balancing the severe angularity of her couch and the window behind it. The shocking pink and red stripes cut by her left knee offer a contrast in color as well as in line to the form of her body. Matisse’s preoccupation with dynamic tensions in all his later ornamental works is shown in the complex balance here between plain and patterned surfaces, between rest and movement, and between warm flesh color and the blue of the sofa cover.

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