Reimagining a Colorful Revolution: “Origins of Fauvism” at the MFAH
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is thrilled to present “Origins of Fauvism,” an exhibition that traces the historic summer of 1905 in Collioure, where artists Henri Matisse and André Derain sparked a revolution in the world of modernist painting. This groundbreaking show, which runs from February 25 to May 27, 2024, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, celebrates their alliance and the creation of the Fauvism movement, which redefined the use of color in art.
A Season of Innovation
In the quaint village of Collioure, Matisse and Derain’s creative fervor culminated in bold expressions and a liberated color palette that dared to defy traditional roles. This exhibition, marking its premiere in the United States, showcases 65 seminal works of the Fauvist leaders—paintings, drawings, and watercolors that have not graced American galleries for over fifty years.
Personal Reflections and Artistic Journeys
Beyond the collaborative brilliance, “Origins of Fauvism” also delves into the personal narratives of Matisse and Derain. It spotlights the contrast in their approaches—the plein-air immediacy of Derain’s work against Matisse’s contemplative collection of impressions destined for his Paris studio. This personal dimension offers visitors a deeper appreciation of the artists’ distinct paths within their collective breakthrough.
A Composite of Colorful Legacies
“The work that Matisse and Derain created over the summer they spent experimenting together, in 1905, liberated color from its traditional, representational role. This innovation freed them, and the artists who followed, to use color as color, radically changing modernist painting,” reflects Gary Tinterow, MFAH’s Director. This profound transformation is presented through the artists’ perspective that color was not a science but an instinct, a sensibility felt and applied in strikingly new ways that would forever alter the art landscape.
Fauvism’s Celebrated Canvases
The exhibition shines a spotlight on some of Fauvism’s most celebrated works. From Matisse’s studies that preluded his masterpiece “Luxe, calme et volupté” to Derain’s vibrant depiction of Matisse, these pieces underscore the defining moments of the movement and the artists’ explorations of color and form.
Catalogue and Curation
Supported by a richly illustrated catalogue, with insights from experts such as Dita Amory and Ann Dumas, the exhibition extends its educational reach. The partnership between the esteemed museums and the shared curatorship of these authorities ensures a presentation that is as informative as it is visually captivating.
A Celebration of Color at MFAH
Visitors to the “Origins of Fauvism” are invited to immerse themselves in the vivacious hues that define Fauvism’s enduring legacy. The exhibition offers a journey through the development of modern art, illuminated by the bold energy and innovation of Matisse and Derain.
For more information on the exhibition, including tickets and related events, and to ensure your spot in experiencing this historic premiere in the United States from February 25 to May 27, 2024, please visit mfah.org.
This exhibition is made possible with the support of several notable institutions and a grant from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, ensuring that the revolutionary spirit of Fauvism continues to inspire.