Gauguin and the Voyage to the Exotic

Tabu. Matisse and Murnau

The exhibition ends with Henri Matisse’s stay in French Polynesia in 1930 while the German expressionist film director F.W. Murnau was shooting Tabu. Whereas Gauguin’s voyage had been planned as an escape from civilization, Matisse’s trip was intended as a pleasure vacation to help him get over a period of uneasiness and concern, but it ended up becoming the starting point of a new artistic period.

El esquimal

Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954) The Eschimo (L'Esquimau)

Gouache and cut out paper. 40.5 x 86 cm.
Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhaguen. Denmark.
© Designmuseum Danmark

His Tahitian memories and fantasies inspired the experimentation he carried out with papiers découpés(paper cut-outs) in his final years. These works are hailed as the culmination of his career and his Baudelairean guiding principle of “order and beauty, luxury, calm and pleasure”, and as the avant-gardes’ last burst of utopian breath.

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