It is impossible to discuss contemporary art without making reference to modern art. Indeed, modern art isn’t just the foundation of contemporary art, many contemporary artists are still responding to modern artists today. One might even go so far as to say all art has been responding to the earthquake Duchamp caused when he placed a urinal on a pedestal.
Still, there are times when artists find new importance in the work of the past. Though the significance of Matisse can’t be understated, there was a time in the 1980s during which his influence was revived. Experimentation with color and the non-representational and uncoordinated swathes that exemplify his style can be seen in a variety of work, from Mark Rothko to Roy Lichtenstein. In After Matisse, Tifanny Bell explores the story of his resurrection. Why did he has emerged so clearly and intentionally in the ‘80s? How did he emerge? What can this tell us about contemporary art in the ‘80s and Matisse himself? Rich with beautiful artwork and profound essays, this book will expand the knowledge of even the most erudite Matisse scholar.
Bell, Tiffany, After Mattise, Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, 1986. 64 pages, softcover. ISBN: 0916365190. $19.95
Essays by Dore Ashton, Tiffany Bell, and Irving Sandler.