IU Art Museum’s color plates from Matisse’s ‘Jazz’ on display at IMA

See something that looked familiar while checking out the Indianapolis Museum of Art‘s exhibition on Matisse?

Matisse's Jazz book image

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). The Clown, Plate 1 from Jazz, 1947. Color stencil print (pochoir) on paper.

That’s right — the IU Art Museum’s complete suite of color plates from Henri Matisse’s “Jazz” is a featured special addition to the IMA’s exhibition, “Matisse, Life in Color: Masterworks From the Baltimore Museum of Art.” That exhibition is on display in Indianapolis through Jan. 11.

Published in 1947, the book features prints based on paper cutouts created by Matisse when he was in his 70s and could no longer draw or paint easily.

Many take their theme from the theater or the circus and, despite a playful, childlike appearance, display a sophisticated interplay of color, form and space. The artist, who often turned to music and dance for inspiration, likened his compositions to the syncopated rhythms of music, calling them a series of “chromatic and rhythmic improvisations” — ergo, the title of the collection.

When the prints return to Bloomington, they’ll be the centerpieces of the IU Art Museum’s own exhibition, “Matisse’s Jazz and Other Works From Indiana University Collections,” which goes on display April 2.

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