“Henri Matisse (1869–1954) and André Derain (1880–1954) embarked on a creative partnership in the summer of 1905 that would change the course of French painting. The two painters daringly experimented with energetic bursts of color, form, and structure, the outcome of which led to a bold, new artistic language known as Fauvism (from the French fauve, or “wild beast”). Opening at The Met on October 13, 2023, Vertigo of Color: Matisse, Derain, and the Origins of Fauvism will present, for the first time in the United States, the legacy of that legendary summer through 65 paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Matisse and Derain on loan from national and international museums and private collections.” — The Met
A color for me is a force. My paintings consist of four or five colors which clash with one another expressively. When I apply green, that does not mean grass. When I apply blue, that does not mean sky. — Henri Matisse
Color became sticks of dynamite. They were primed to discharge light. — André Derain
“This captivating exhibition not only speaks to the transformative partnership of Matisse and Derain, but it also provides a highly focused and engaging view of their groundbreaking artistic practices,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO. “Vertigo of Color is remarkable in that the works are largely experimental, giving us the opportunity to understand their process and look back at a singular moment that has so powerfully resonated with generations of artists and audiences.”
“As the story of a rewarding partnership, this exhibition is the first to focus intently on the paintings, drawings, and watercolors that laid the groundwork for Fauvism,” said Dita Amory, Robert Lehman Curator in Charge of the Robert Lehman Collection. “In just nine weeks, Matisse and Derain revolutionized color and liberated brushwork, paving the way for modernism.”
Vertigo of Color: Matisse, Derain, and the Origins of Fauvism is co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It is curated at The Met by Dita Amory, Robert Lehman Curator in Charge, Robert Lehman Collection, and at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, by Ann Dumas, Consulting Curator of European Art.
Images courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.