PRINT December 2005

Robert Rosenblum

1 “MATISSE: THE FABRIC OF DREAMS—HIS ART AND HIS TEXTILES” (ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS, LONDON; METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK) Instead of kneeling again at Matisse’s shrine, curator Ann Dumas thoroughly resurrected him. The master’s “working library”—a half century’s ragbag accumulation of fleamarket cotton prints, couture gowns, Romanian blouses, North African hangings, and more—was excavated from family trunks and displayed beside the works that incorporated their patterns and textures into landscapes for a new vision of Paradise. Seeing the alchemy that turned rags into riches was to rediscover Matisse’s genius.

2 “JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID: EMPIRE TO EXILE” (J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES; CLARK ART INSTITUTE, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA) In another show that offered a fresh take on a familiar deity, we were finally treated to a full-scale display of David’s late work, which, like

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