Most people have heard of Picasso. Some have heard of Matisse. But how many have put the two together? Were they friends or rivals?
I led a group of eight friends, including myself and my mother, to the Tate Modern today. I've saved this virgin visit to this converted-powerstation for a special visit. First we picked up Jeremy (who had invited us) in Baron's Court, then Ramteen in Earl's Court, then Lucy at Tower Bridge. We waited for Nico before walking over the bridge to have afternoon tea at Clemencia and Isaac's. I had baked a banana bread and cupcakes for the outdoor concert/picnic - but the sky didn't look promising. So Tate Modern was the next step.
Tate Modern is located on the south bank of Thames, walkable from the Millenium Bridge which is accessible from St Paul's or Blackfriar's tube station. The converted powerstation is an impressive building which contains several art galleries. Unfortunately we arrived too late for the free exhibits.
My mother and I spent almost two hours visiting this special exhibit. Mother is an art connoisseur and enjoys painting and anything creative. I enjoyed following the compare and contrast of the two artists' lives, how they inspired each other, and how they influenced each other. At times, it was difficult to tell the difference - which was Picasso's, which was Matisse's. But like other exhibits that spanned an artist's entire life, this one showed the struggles and chaos that led to the final simplicity and control. I think life is like that - a journey of experimentation, discovery, feedback, and learning - acquiring knowledge, contacts, experience, and material things - only to reach the final stage of convergence and giving it all away.
While in the beginning Matisse and Picasso may be very different: colour vs drawing; calm and unity vs conflict and fragmentation, the more we study their work, the more they are similar. We might think that we are alll different and unique, but in the end we come to realise that we're one and the same after all.
7 July 2002 Sunday
The Matisse Picasso Exhibition is sponsored by Ernst & Young
11 May - 18 August 2002
Tate Modern, London
tickets: STG 10 or 7 concession.
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