Matisse Exhibition

Art / HistoryImpressions

Due to the order of publication, the exhibition will have already ended by the time this is posted. With apologies for the poor posts arrangement, I would like to write about my visit to the “Matisse Exhibition” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

The link to the official website will probably be broken once the exhibition is over, so I’ll put up this website instead. This is who Henri Matisse is.


This year’s Lunar Bon Festival was marked by a series of typhoons that brought heavy rain and damage to many parts of Japan.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, despite the weather forecast warnings of heavy rain, it did not seem to be raining, but instead, the heat continued day after day, with the sun shining mercilessly from time to time.

On this day, too, the “rain” forecast was wrong, and when I got off the train at the park exit of Ueno Station, I found myself in the following condition.

It was morning and the temperature was well over 30 degrees Celsius, and the humidity was extremely high. Anyhow, since it was not raining, people came out in droves. The destination for families on summer vacation is probably the Ueno Zoo in the front end of the photo.

This photo was taken with a small and lightweight pair of LUMIX GF10 and LUMIX G12-32mm. In this heat, lightness is the fullest justice.

Besides the zoo, there are many other attractions in Ueno Park, including art galleries and museums. The National Museum of Western Art near the station was relatively quiet as it seemed to have only a permanent exhibition, but as the crowds moved forward, their destinations diverged and branched off. The people here who turn right are probably heading to the National Museum of Nature and Science or the Tokyo National Museum (TNM).

I headed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art (TMMA), which has an entrance alongside the zoo. I made a reservation for admission between 9:30 and 10:00, the same time the museum opened, but there was a long line of people waiting in front of the main gate even before the museum opened. I was already exhausted by the heat and could not stand waiting in line, so I temporarily took refuge in a nearby Starbucks to recover my strength and energy.
The Starbucks, specially designed to blend into the landscape in Ueno Park, was packed from morning The Starbucks was packed from the morning. You can see the TNM in the distance.

By 9:45, the queue had dissipated and it looked like this. Finally, I got up off my backside and entered the exhibition.

The Matisse exhibition was a little less crowded than I had expected, and I was able to visit it rather comfortably. Although it is prohibited to take pictures freely inside the museum, They allowed to take pictures of the exhibited works on the second floor, so I took some snaps of the works.

But even snapping a still life is not easy, much less taking a picture of a master’s work of art.

Why is it that the impact of the paintings you see at the exhibition can be so ruined?

No, whatever I say is an excuse/repeat, so I’ll shut up and put it up.

I’m really sorry for everything.
But I think I managed to capture a realistic photo of this drawing book.

I suppose it would be best to refrain from describing his works because of my lack of sensitivity and education, but I would like to write two comments as an outsider’s “impression”.

(1) His “paper cut-outs” are very impressive. I am sorry to say that until now I have only thought “Hmmm,” but when I look at it as the last expression I arrived at after learning a little about Matisse, it shakes me to the depths of my heart. If I may simplify the word, it is very enjoyable to watch. I heard that cutting paper is a creative process similar to sculpture for Matisse.

(2) Delusionally I feel that Matisse has a morbid obsession with vertical lines. Vertical lines seem to be filled with a different kind of concentration than other drawings. His works in which he draws many vertical lines obsessively are filled with a sense of tension, while his works without vertical lines give me a sense of relaxation. The cutout works, on the other hand, seem to me to have a sense of relaxation or “openness”, a floating soul.

My impression of the “Magician of Color” works is a bit out of focus, but that’s about all I have to say.

After viewing a series of works, I went to the museum shop and headed home, as I usually do, but there was an unusual turn of events.
I’ll leave that for next time, to make some money for my article in the summer when I don’t take many pictures.