“Henri Matisse: The Essence of Line” at Marlborough Gallery

Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé, 1932, etching
Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé, an etching made by Matisse in 1932.

The simplest things are often the most difficult to perfect. Henri Matisse once mused, “The effort needed to see things without distortion takes something very like courage; and this courage is essential to the artist, who has to look at everything as though he saw it for the first time…”

Indeed, the artist was courageous in his depictions of life, defying critics who viewed his artwork as being too decorative. As he grew older, Matisse became more and more obsessed with capturing the purity of form as seen in the above etching. Currently hanging at Marlborough Gallery on West 57th Street, this is just one of dozens of prints by Matisse on view—all of which describe the artist’s steady yet evolving preoccupation with creating the cleanest and most beautiful images.

Henri Matisse: The Essence of Line is on view at Marlborough Gallery through October 12. The exhibit will subsequently travel to London, where it will open on December 4.

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