PRINT November 1968

The Sculpture of Matisse, Part III

THE EVOLUTION AND CHARACTER of Matisse’s sculpture were an outgrowth of his exposure to Western sculpture from classical antiquity to the salon artists of his day. This was in part the argument of the preceding articles. It has been often suggested that in at least a few sculptures between 1905 and 1908, Matisse showed a susceptibility to African art in terms of postures, proportions, and “angular” modeling. His sculpture of Two Negresses, first exhibited in the Salon d’Automne of 1908 as A Group of Two Young Girls and then as Two Sisters, it is generally agreed, though distinctly in his style, shows the strongest evidence of Africanizing in his work. Seen within the context of his previous sculptures and what we know from his teaching, it is possible to account for the postures, proportions and modeling of this sculpture apart from direct primitive influence. In short, Matisse’s admiration

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