Henri Matisse: Jazz

Tuesday, Jan 1, 2019 – Jan 1, 2020

University of Chicago
915 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

Ongoing
Location: Lower Level

About the Exhibition

Gifted by the Reva and David Logan Foundation, a rotating selection of Henri Matisse’s Jazz prints will be on permanent display at the Logan Center.

Reva and David Logan’s collection of modern illustrated books was “one of the most important ever formed in the United States and a manifestation of their passion for volumes where inspired text joins creative original graphic art to form a unified whole.” Jazz is “Matisse’s most important artist’s book because it is the only one that he is both author and illustrator...Matisse started on the project in mid-1943. It was conceived as an album of twenty plates and Matisse wrote the accompanying text in 1946, providing a revealing commentary on his subjects, method and philosophy.

In his notes forming the imposing handwritten text, he wrote ‘these images, with their lively and violent tones, derive from crystallization of memories and circuses, folktales and voyages.’” Matisse created a series of paper cutouts and papier découpés, which were published in Jazz, a 1947 limited-edition book that contained his written memoirs and color pochoirs. Matisse titled this series Jazz because it suggested a connection between art and musical improvisation. The combination of vivid colors and abstract composition evokes a glorious celebration of life against adversity, making the Jazz prints one the most groundbreaking series of 20th century art. In addition, many of the works depict motifs concerning performing artists.

As an enduring legacy to David, Reva, and the entire Logan family, displaying the Matisse prints at the Logan Center celebrates both jazz and the arts and creative collaboration more broadly.

 

Image: Henri Matisse