Curator, Ann Temkin: There's one painting in The Red Studio that we could not borrow for the exhibition. It's actually the biggest in the painting. It was called Large Nude. And it was a painting that Matisse asked to have destroyed after his death. We're not exactly sure why—if Matisse felt it was unresolved or it became damaged.
There are five, to our knowledge, drawings that he made planning this picture and these have never been presented before as a set. Matisse's daughter Marguerite posed for these drawings. He always started his work in observation.
Artist, Faith Ringgold: I don't think there's any way you can draw a body without looking at one. We had models, I think that's very, very important.
Ann Temkin: But then as his work became more and more adventurous it was starting a new language that had almost nothing to do with that model.
Artist, Lisa Yuskavage: As a young person, when I went to art school, there was just always a naked person lying there for us to draw.
I really am very interested in this particular period in art when everyone was painting figuratively and there was never a question that the challenge for the painter was to make something pictorially different. Otherwise, hang your hat up and go home.