Artist, Faith Ringgold: Matisse uses his color beautifully. He’s a wonderful colorist. He’s a wonderful colorist.
Curator, Ann Temkin: Matisse loved flowers. He was delighting, always, in showing visitors his garden. He talked about the colors of flowers as the primary inspiration for the way he worked to make the colors on his canvases alive.
Professor, Mehammed Mack: A flower is such a dense concentration of many different colors arranged in this visually inviting way. And it seems like it's a color key, everything around it takes on a new feel or a new meaning because of that little section of the painting.
Artist, Lisa Yuskavage: I remember, in school, this sense that color was more emotional, more feminine or female. I felt always sensitive towards that reading of Matisse, but in many of these paintings, these are complex color games that he's playing. And in some ways, you've never seen color like he's used it.
Ann Temkin: You see the very realistic details of the studio that you don't see in The Red Studio, which is that there are these wood plank floors and wood panel walls. But instead of very ordinary colors of wood, Matisse has liberated himself from needing to have color describe a certain part of a room.
Still Life with Geraniums has this incredible floral textile that bends and twists all through the center of the painting. He certainly put as much love and personality into these still lives, whether they were a flower or pottery or a textile, these objects had as much meaning to him as human models did.
Writer, Claire Messud: The details that move us most powerfully are precisely the things that in real life cannot endure. They're the moments of holding your mother's hand or sitting in a garden eating a peach in August or hearing a bird sing outside your window. And with painting all these senses can be rendered, and one feels with Matisse, rendered as he experienced them. Matisse said that he believed the whole of an artist to be in his work, and I believe that too.