Richard Ward reviews Matisse-Bonnard: Long Live Painting at the Staedal Museum Frankfurt, on view through January 14, 2018.
Ward notes that the “difference of approach [of the two artists] is visible throughout the exhibition and manifests itself in various ways: Matisse’s primary creation is pictorial space. Even a simple, almost sketch-like painting, such as the amazing ‘Open Window at Coullioure’ (1911) is full of it. His means are almost always figurative and he seems happiest with interiors, where he can use the straight edges for linear perspective and arrange various bits of furniture, rugs, paintings etc. to make the space do his will. … For Bonnard, space doesn´t seem to have been a primary concern at all. His exploration of the possibilities for expressing sensation strives to be pre-conceptual – objects and space dissolving into the visual and emotional impressions they engender. His paintings are often spatial, but it is not a space of his deliberate creation. It is space that arises for the viewer from his attempts to express sensation…”