For many years after its creation, Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911)—which depicts the artist’s work space in the Parisian suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux—was met with bafflement or indifference. Today it is known as a foundational work of modern art and a landmark in the centuries-long tradition of studio painting. Henri Matisse: The Red Studio will reunite this work with the surviving six paintings, three sculptures, and one ceramic by Matisse depicted on its six-foot-tall-by-seven-foot-wide canvas. This will be the first reunion of these objects since they were together in Matisse’s studio at the time The Red Studio was made. They range from groundbreaking paintings, such as Le Luxe II (1907–08), to lesser-known works, such as Corsica, The Old Mill (1898), to objects which have only recently been rediscovered.
Paintings and drawings closely related to The Red Studio will help to illuminate the picture’s history: its rejection by the patron who commissioned it, its international travels, and its eventual acquisition by MoMA. A rich selection of archival materials, including photographs and letters, will reveal new information about the painting’s subject and history. The exhibition will also explore the radical nature of its almost entirely red surface and present recent discoveries about the process of its making.
Following its presentation at MoMA, the exhibition will be shown at SMK, the national gallery of Denmark, in Copenhagen from October 13, 2022, through February 26, 2023.