• Henri Matisse, La Tristesse du roi (The Sorrows of the King), 1952, gouache on canvas, 9' 6 7/8“ x 12' 7 7/8”. © Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


    Centre Pompidou-Metz

    THE INAUGURAL SHOW at the new Centre Pompidou in Metz, France, demonstrates just what a well-thought-out exhibition can do. Although several reviewers saw the show as merely presenting a hit parade of mostly French classics borrowed from the rich collections of its partner in Paris, the museum’s director, Laurent Le Bon, and a handful of cocurators took on a much more challenging task. In fact, the exhibition—as the question mark in its title, “Chefs-d’oeuvre?” (Masterpieces?), implies—addresses both the evolving meaning of the term masterpiece and the factors that contribute to works

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