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Culture

Matisse: A burst of color in Paris’ Pompidou

By María D. Valderrama / Paris / The Pompidou Center in Paris offers a way to escape the autumnal grey skies and the downtrodden atmosphere in the French capital this year with a retrospective on the master of color and joy, Henri Matisse.

The red backgrounds, vibrant still life pieces and orientalist nudes were not, however, the secret to happiness for the 20th century French artist but rather his own pictorial exploration, a way in which he could hide his anxieties and expand his canvasses.

The public often associates Matisse with the idea of joy, but those perceptions can be misguided, the exhibition’s commissioner, Aurélie Verdier, tells EFE.

“All of his art is an attempt to hide what was in fact intense and laborious work,” Verdier says.

The exhibition, which had been due to open in May but was pushed back by the pandemic, coincides with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Matisse’s birth.

Dance, Joy of Life, The Three Sisters, among many others, are to be exhibited alongside his portraiture, self-portraiture, sketches and stained glass pieces until 22 February.

In total the exposition brings together 230 works of art spanning Matisse’s five0decade career, which began in the 1890s and continued until just before his death in 1954.

Many of the canvases and documents on display have been loaned by museums across France and further afield. A number of the pieces are normally stowed away in the archives of the Pompidou given their fragility.

“The visitor will discover in all their dimensions the techniques used by Matisse, of course his paintings but also his drawings,” Verdier says, adding that his lesser known sculptures and his collage work also form part of the exhibition.

The show, Matisse, like a novel, is narrated from a literary perspective, paying homage to the illustrated book that French poet Louis Aragon dedicated to the artist in 1971.

Each room in the exhibition follows a chapter of Matisse’s life. They included reviews of the artist by writers such as Georges Duthuit, Dominique Fourcade, Clement Greenberg, Charles Lewis Hind and even from the painter himself, who, according to Verdier, could explain his work like no-one else.

Associated with the school of Fauvism, Matisse was known as a free-thinker and throughout his life would always be on the hunt for new ways to express himself, which is encapsulated in the cut-out paper window designs he produced toward the end of his life.

A serious operation in 1941 left him unable to paint like he used to and so scissors became his mode of expression.

The window designs he created for the Chapel of the Rosary in Nice were a testament to his approach to life: finding vitality in color during the darkest hours. (October 20, 2020, EFE/PracticaEspañol)

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Question 1
En el texto se dice que...
A
se acaba de aplazar una exposición de Matisse en Francia.
B
se está preparando una exposición sobre Matisse para el año que viene.
C
a partir de hoy se puede ver una exposición sobre Matisse en la capital de Francia.
Question 2
Según el texto...
A
los cuadros de Matisse no transmiten alegría sino tristeza.
B
apenas hay color en los cuadros que pintó Matisse.
C
Matisse pintó cuadros muy coloridos.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que...
A
Matisse es más conocido por sus obras escultóricas que por las pictóricas.
B
este año se está celebrando el 150 aniversario del deceso de Matisse.
C
no solo se exhiben cuadros de Matisse sino también documentos.
Question 4
"Cinco décadas" es lo mismo que...
A
25 años.
B
un lustro.
C
50 años
Question 5
"Abordar" es...
A
evitar.
B
hablar sobre algo o tratar un tema.
C
silenciar.
Question 6
Se utiliza el término "soltura" para expresar que...
A
alguien hace algo con mucha desenvoltura o facilidad.
B
a alguien no se le da muy bien hacer algo.
C
alguien es incapaz de hacer algo.
Question 7
En el vídeo se ve que...
A
todos los cuadros son enormes.
B
se exhiben cuadros con colores muy llamativos en esa muestra.
C
no hay ningún cuadro muy colorido en esa exposición.
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