Matisse: Life and spirit

An unforgettable shrine to colour at the AGNSW
Art Gallery of New South Wales
by
ABR Arts 07 December 2021

Matisse: Life and spirit

An unforgettable shrine to colour at the AGNSW
Art Gallery of New South Wales
by
ABR Arts 07 December 2021
Installation view of <i>Matisse: Life and spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris</i> on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (photograph courtesy of the AGNSW)
Installation view of Matisse: Life and spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (photograph courtesy of the AGNSW)

This exhibition, alive with colour, is a gift to our grey summer. The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) was already crowded at 10.30am on the first Sunday; our umbrellas were bagged, our raincoats cloaked. Matisse: Life and spirit, drawn mainly from the exceptional holdings of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, is the first dedicated Matisse exhibition in Australia for twenty-six years. The Gallery carefully says this is the ‘largest collection of work by Matisse to be seen in Sydney’, but that understates the appeal of this lovely exhibition. It offers an incisive, intelligent, and thorough introduction to Matisse that is essential viewing; its generosity and subtlety will repay multiple visits. (I wish I were a kid again, could see Matisse for the first time.)

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