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Katonah Museum Exhibit Features Matisse Drawings

Henri Matisse, After R.B. Skira, 1948, ink on paper, 17 5/16 x 13 in. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.
Henri Matisse, After R.B. Skira, 1948, ink on paper, 17 5/16 x 13 in. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts. Photo Credit: American Federation of Arts
Henri Matisse, Aragon, 1943, ink on paper, 20 7/8 x 15 15/16 in. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.
Henri Matisse, Aragon, 1943, ink on paper, 20 7/8 x 15 15/16 in. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts. Photo Credit: American Federation of Arts

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- The Katonah Museum of Art’s fall exhibition, "Matisse Drawings," will feature 45 drawings by Henri Matisse.

The exhibit explores the work of the French artist as seen through the eyes of renowned minimalist, the late Ellsworth Kelly.

Developed and curated by Kelly before his death in 2015, the exhibition runs from Oct. 23 to Jan. 29, 2017. Kelly's large-scale suite of plant lithographs (1965-66) will be shown in a separate display.

The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

"An exhibition like this one allows us to understand the timeless qualities of drawing itself in its most fundamental form and coming from two great artists," said Darsie Alexander, executive director of the Katonah Museum of Art.

“There are many ways to look at and appreciate art, but seeing through the eyes of one artist onto another can be both transformative and illuminating."

In "Matisse Drawings," Kelly surveys the artist’s work from 1900 through 1950, from quick sketches to finished drawings, revealing Matisse’s process along with the range of his creativity as a draftsman.

"When thinking of Matisse, many people instantly imagine his wildly colorful and bold paintings," said Elizabeth Rooklidge, associate curator at the museum.

"This exhibition sheds light on his drawing practice, which occupied a vital role in his artistic career. Visitors will see his ability to portray his subject with lines that are simultaneously sensitive, expressive, and precise.

"Visitors will see Matisse’s drawings through Ellsworth Kelly’s perspective," Rooklidge continued.

Nine Kelly lithographs "make the clear the powerful influence Matisse’s work held for the minimalist artist."

"Kelly once commented that while Picasso inspired him to paint, it was Matisse that instilled in him the desire to draw."

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) "drew constantly through his life and his direct, elegant draftsmanship has become a hallmark of 20th-century modern art," said a release about the exhibition.

The museum is at 134 Jay St., Katonah.

For more information on the exhibit, admission, hours, and program registration, call 914-232-9555 or visit www.katonahmuseum.org.

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