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Henri Matisse The Open Window, Collioure, 1905

Price: Sale Price: $22.49
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The striking color juxtapositios have excited such interest in this picture that more thoughtful qualities of its palette are often missed. Note the contrasting symmetrical pillars of green and pink, and the tendency of the window panes to feflect chiefly the hue of the opposite side. Alfred Barr has justly commented on the inconsistencies of brushwork between the interior and exterior, finding a certain Impressiontic survival in the conception of the latter. But this difference is to a degree functional, serving to demarcate two distinct worlds. Moreover, the broken brushstrokes of the exterior serve to thrust emphatically forward and thus render more intense the flat passages serving as framing elements. Indeed, the relatively long strokes of the exterior resemble Impressionist technique less than they resemble many Matisses from the Nice epoch of 1917 and forward. The one paradox, intentional or not, is that the artist has here produced a picture in which the frame is more important than the view. Looking far ahead, one might compare "Open Window, Collioure" with certain of Frank Stella's chromatic compositions of the 1960s, where frame and pictorial design have been completely merged into a unified, mutually dependent structural system.

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