Beginning in 1906, soon after the artist acquired his first African sculpture, Matisse found inspiration in erotic and ethnographic photography. Working with these two radically different depictions of the body was a foundational menthod for Matisse and crucial to the development of his pre-World War I abstraction.
Far from the simple narrative of the artist "discovering" Africa, the highly original readings of Matisse's Sculpture plot new coordinates of study for early 20th-century primitivism. It examines the larger constructs of thought at the time, with a penetrating analysis of the anthropology, popular erotica, and the visual culture of French colonialsm.
In addition, the book repositions Matisse's sculptural practice, particularly in regard to its investigations of race and sexuality, as a cornerstone of his prolific career.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Matisse, The Serpentine (1909)
Baltimore Museum of Art
©2014 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society, New York