Matisse. Radical Invention 1913-1917
Stephanie D'Alessandro, John Elderfield
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011 (paperback ed.)
The works that Henri Matisse (1869–1954) executed between late 1913 and 1917 are among his most demanding, experimental, and enigmatic. Often sharply composed, heavily reworked, and dominated by the colors black and gray, these compositions are rigorously abstracted and purged of nearly all descriptive detail. This handsome book represents the first sustained examination of Matisse’s output from this important period, revealing fascinating information about his working method, experimental techniques, and compositional choices uncovered through extensive new historical, technical, and scientific research. It features in-depth studies of individual works such as Bathers by a River and The Moroccans, which Matisse himself counted as among the most pivotal of his career, and facilitates a greater understanding of the artist’s innovative process and radical stylistic evolution.