For SNOW 2014, guests were invited to enter the colourful world of one of the few indisputable giants of modern art: Henri Matisse. Of all the themes that preoccupied him, that of the power of the Woman was of the most significant and persistent. Matisse also deployed a youthful use of bold colour that can be perceived as childish at first glance. Upon further appreciation of his work, one can see the intensity that is reflected through his keen understanding that colour can evoke emotion in the viewer. It is this youthfulness and intensity that mirrors the power of elevating youth as agents of change. SNOW 2014: The Colours of Matisse embraced Matisse’s celebration of both the power of the Woman and the power of young people to change the colours by which we see the world.
Matisse’s most creative breakthrough came in 1904-05 during a visit to Southern France, inspiring paintings done with emanating bright, light-dappled canvases with subjects portrayed in bold, slightly distorted imaging. This new direction provoked criticism from contemporary art critics that categorized Matisse in a category of certain artists nicknamed the “fauves”, or “wild beasts”. This new painting style came to be known as Fauvism. Matisse continued on this bold path, utilizing sinuous lines, strong brushstrokes, bright colours, and a focus on the female nudes, in addition to portraits of his wife and daughter. Matisse’s later works captured moods that he emphasized with colour rather than based on the realistic view of the world. Despite Matisse’s radical approach to colour and form, his subjects were most frequently traditional: scenes of his studio, portraits of friends and family, arrangements of figures in rooms or landscapes.
From the beginning of his career, women were a constant motif in his artworks and his grand celebration of women was thought to have derived from a painting that fellow artist, Cezanne had painted in 1882 (Three Bathers). Matisse was especially fond of, and devoted to, his mother, the loves of his life, who were his wife Amelie and daughter, Marguerite, and had deep affection for his several grandchildren. He drew energy from the youthfulness around him. In his works, Matisse depicts women and youth as nurturing and welcoming, and subsequently, celebrated them throughout his life.
PIERRE H. MATISSE
Grandson of Henri Matisse, artist Pierre H. Matisse uses his creative talent,boundless energy and whimsy, to paint and create his cut-outs and avant-garde mixed media art forms. Pierre also possesses a strong desire to help others, particularly victims of tPierre Henri Matisserafficking. He thus donates his works to numerous charitable organisations worldwide like The United Nation’s Women’s Guild and today, the Singapore Committee for UN Women.
In support of his grandfather’s legacy and the SNOW Gala theme, Pierre H. Matisse and Jeanne Matisse contributed artwork for the SNOW Gala’s efforts. Born in 1928 and grandson of Henri Matisse, Pierre’s childhood involved the artistic life of Paris and the French Riviera. One is drawn to Pierre’s work because of its intensity, power and depth of colour, however upon closer inspection the drama of the scene plays out until it feels as though you are part of the picture. Pierre’s prolific career spans decades, and Gala Benefactors had the privilege of bidding on three of Pierre’s original lino cuts, and one special mixed media piece. In addition, one spectacular original cut out, “Circle of Love”, executed in the style of his grandfather was offered for Live Auction. Images of the pieces were professionally photographed and submitted by HAS Art Solutions, a US-based International Art Consulting Firm, who has also generously provided framing for “Circle of Love”. Singapore’s premiere framing company, framingangie, contributed the framing of Pierre’s lino-cuts and mixed media pieces.