Original Caption: Henri Matisse working on paper cut out. Undated photo. Reproduced under Creative Commons-Zero CCO

study days

Matisse: concepts of colour

  • Wednesday 18 December 2019
  • Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
  • Lecturer: Ben Street

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is one of the most unusual modern artists. While sometimes sidelined by art historians and critics in favour of his more obviously avant-garde contemporaries, Matisse’s best work remains deeply complex, intellectually rich, playful and mysterious. While in no way an attempt to explain away the compelling strangeness of Matisse’s work, this study way will present the artist in a number of contexts that will edge towards an understanding of some of the many potential meanings in his paintings, sculptures and works on paper. Looking at his work in terms of his contemporaries and collaborators, the artists of the past he most admired, and the artists who took on and explored his legacy after his death, this study day will present fresh thinking on Matisse, his art and his importance now.


Ben Street is an art historian, lecturer and author of numerous books on art for children and adults. He is a researcher and tutor for the University of East Anglia and the University of Oxford and has been employed as an educator and lecturer for many museums in the UK and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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