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Matisse and Louisiana...
by Asbjorn Lonvig

You sure know Henri Matisse.
And you sure know Louisiana.
But it is not that Louisiana I think of.
In Denmark there is an art museum called Louisiana.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Chicago Cultural Center
Some years ago I was promoting my stuff in Chicago.
I visited the Chicago Cultural Center and talked to the director.
She was a size large wonderful African-American, age fifty I guess.
I remember she loved my Paris motifs.
I told her, that I was from Denmark.
Ohhhh Yeaaaah! Louisiana!
And she leaned back and entered a state of dreaming.
She told me that it was the best museum of modern art in Europe.
She told me about the interaction between the art museum and nature.
She told me about the great view from the museum, which is placed on the brink of the sound between Denmark and Sweden.
She told me about Louisiana's ability  to show great art.
She told me about Louisiana's ability  to show great artists.
She told me about Louisiana's ability to communicate this great art to the visitors.
An art museum that she surely wanted to see again.

And I visit Louisiana myself frequently.
For exactly the same reasons as my African-American friend.

Lousiana map and photos
You have to go there to experience the atmosphere.
Nature and art.
Art and nature.
But the photos might give you a hint of what my friend in Chicago meant.

See about the Louisiana Architecture and the Louisiana Collection at the Louisiana web site.

Matisse - a second life
Louisiana and Museé de Luxembourg in Paris have made a joined venture.
One day the Danish curator and Matisse expert Hanne Finsen asked the director of Louisiana for a cup of coffee.
Later the director offered Hanne Finsen numerous cups of coffee.
The director liked to know more about her idea.
The director is Poul Erik Tojner.

The idea
To make an exhibition based on a
renewed correspondence, starting the spring 1941, between Matisse and his old friend, the knowledgeable bibliophile André Rouveyre, whom he had seen only occasionally since their days at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris or as it is called today Ècole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts.
The exhibition had to cover the rest of Henri Matisse's life, he died 3 November 1954 in Nice.
The letters reviles a profound friendship between Matisse and Rouveyre, who loved and admired Matisse.
Matisse for his part needed no other audience than Rouveyre.
From a visitors point of view it is interesting that the letters at the same time reviles Matisse's thoughts and inspiration behind each piece made in this period of time.

The exhibition
11 August 2005 I saw this exhibition.
You have to go there to experience the atmosphere.
Matisse and Louisiana.
Louisiana and Matisse.
But the photos might give you a hint of what I mean.

The light was nearly turned off.
Because of the paper cut-outs
Works in paper
cut-out technique fades.

You must never photo in an art museum.
You must never, never use flash.
Today, however, I had the permission to photo and use flash.
I did not believe it.
What a scoop.
To ensure that it was no mistake I flashed just in front of the director
and then in front of the curator....
no conservators in obviously was OK!

I have put all the Matisse paper cut-out flash photos into my treasure chest.
Take a look into my treasure chest above.
Because of the missing light I had to photo with a "scene" feature.
Most of the paper cut-outs and paintings were framed with glass.
That's why the photos are not front photos.
In order to clear my photos concerning intellectual rights with the
© Succession H. Matisse foundation I contacted Copy-Dan, who administers these matters in Denmark together with sister organisations in other countries.
Most of my photos have to stay in my
treasure chest.
I might have bought intellectual rights for several thousand dollars - you have to wait and see my photos next time you visit me. I have bought rights to 3 of my atmosphere photos - they are shown above.  I am alowed to show them for one year - please, help me remember to update this article in one year!!!
I can, however, show you the best of the official
press photos.

WWAR Art News coverage
On 12 August 2005 WWAR Art News run the article "Matisse: A Second Life", which covers the story perfectly. 
I need not tell you about the details.
I need to tell you what this exhibition meant to me.

It's always a great pleasure for me to go to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Recently I saw Roy Liechtenstein, which I enjoyed very much.
And not so long ago I saw Warhol, which I did not enjoy. Not because of the exhibition itself,
but I feel I have seen all the works before. Usually I enjoy to se the originals of works I have seen in books, in papers etc.
But to me Warhol's works have lost their magic.
Warhol loved Warhol more than I do.
Yesterday I saw Matisse. An experience of a life time.

What struck me was his thoughts concerning to do things simple. To do things in bright colors.
It took him a lifetime to do it right.
Maybe he succeeded because of his high age, his second life was from age 82 to age 95.
Maybe he succeeded because of his attitude of life.

I have read that "The letters, which are typified by intimacy and irresistible humor, speak of both the events of everyday life and Matisse’s work and thus provide us with unique insight into the artist’s creative process and his thoughts on his life and work"
It's very good storytelling. 
The more insight into an artist's creative process I have - the greater is my joy.
I have to read the book "Matisse - a second life" - handwriting in French is not very easy to comprehend!!!!!

One thing more. 
I myself use paper-cut very much, which I have not been very proud of. Real art is oil painting - I thought.
But seeing Matisse use paper-cut in his second life has encouraged me enormously.
Thank you Heni Matisse!!!!

Map of Louisiana and small photos of Louisiana - from, main page and the architecture - permission by Susanne Hartz, Louisiana.
Photo of the exhibition -
by Asbjorn Lonvig. 
Photo of the book "Matisse - a second life" - by Asbjorn Lonvig
Matisse paper cut-outs, paintings, drawings, letters etc. © Succession H. Matisse / CopyDan, 2005 - cleared with CopyDan

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Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Art News Artblog: Matisse and Asbjorn Lonvig.