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Matisse: Painter as Sculptor - Matisse’s Process Revealed in Sculpture

Henri Matisse, one of the foremost artists of the 20th century, is best known as a master of color and form for his vibrant paintings and colorful cut-outs. He was, however, also an accomplished sculptor who pushed the boundaries of abstraction through clay. In 2007 the Baltimore Museum of Art hosted the first major U.S. examination of Matisse’s sculpture in nearly 40 years. This exhibition assembled more than 150 works in a variety of media to explore Matisse’s sculptural ideas and creative process. The exhibition was also presented at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Dallas Museum of Art.

For the exhibition the IRC created a visualization that allows visitors to see how three dimensional laser technologies are used to compare multiple casts of similar sculptures, showing what the naked eye cannot view alone. Through this study, Matisse’s working process and casting methods are revealed for the first time, with considerable differences in methods of construction, patination, finishing, and even size.

Matisse: Painter as Sculptor from ircumbc on Vimeo.

Numerous Matisse sculptures were scanned to produce this visualization. Scholars could then analyze the subsequent 3D computer models to better understand Matisse’s process.

The IRC also worked on a related project: Matisse: Painter as Sculptor - Looking at Sculpture.

Production Notes

Project Director and Editing: Dan Bailey
Animation: Ryan Zuber and Eric Smallwood
Laser Scanning: Direct Dimensions, Owings Mills, MD
Client: Baltimore Museum of Art
Curators and Scholars: Jay Fischer, Ann Boulton, Oliver Shell,Dorothy Kosinski
Education Directors: Kimberly D. Meisten, Gail Davitt