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Henri Matisse and L’Atalier Rouge (The Red Studio) from 1911 Analyse this Painting 1. Use your analysis sheet to make note of the formal qualities of this work. 2. ‘Read’ this painting and see if you can decode this work. What was Matisse thinking?
Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911, Oil on canvas 181 x 219.1 cm
L’Atelier Rouge is on permanent display at MoMA in New York.
"On one hand, he wants to bring you into this painting: to make you fall into it, like walking through the looking-glass. Thus the box of crayons is put, like a bait, just under your hand, as it was under his. But it is not a real space, and because it is all soaked in flat, subtly modulated red, a red beyond ordinary experience, dyeing the whole room, it describes itself aggressively as fiction. It is all inlaid pattern, full of possible "windows," but these openings are more flat surfaces. They are Matisse's own pictures. Everything else is a work of art or craft as well: the furniture, the dresser, the clock and the sculptures, which are also recognizably Matisses. The only hint of nature in all this is the trained houseplant, which obediently emulates the curve of the wicker chair on the right and the nude's body on the left. The Red Studio is a poem about how painting refers to itself: how art nourishes itself from other art and how, with enough conviction, art can form its own republic of pleasure, a parenthesis within the real world - a paradise.” - Text from "The Shock of the New", by Robert Hughes
Matisse’s other red painting is Harmony in Red from 1908.
Here are works that Matisse worked on in the same year. What similarities do you see between the work? What do you think Matisse is attempting to work in through his art? Why?
Above: Interior with Augergines ; above right: The Painter’s Family ; right: The Pink Studio all 1911
<ul><li>Watch the video on The Red Studio and answer the following questions… </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s paintings are on the wall? What do you think the significance of this might be? </li></ul><ul><li>Which direction do people generally ‘read’ this painting? </li></ul><ul><li>What significance does the chair have? What quote do Harris and Zucker reference? </li></ul><ul><li>What three things seem to ‘emerge’ from this painting? (This is particularly important when discussing Matisse’s subject matter) </li></ul><ul><li>What is so interesting about the ‘white’ lines? </li></ul><ul><li>What is ‘missing’ from this painting? What does this ‘do’ to the painting? </li></ul><ul><li>What is Matisse trying to ‘dismantle’? Why do you think he does this? Was Matisse the first to do this? </li></ul>