ModernStarts: People

Oct 7, 1999–Feb 1, 2000


Henri Matisse. Dance (I). Paris, Boulevard des Invalides, early 1909. Oil on canvas, 8ʹ 6 1/2ʺ × 12ʹ 9 1/2ʺ (259.7 × 390.1 cm). Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr. © 2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

ModernStarts: People explores aspects of figural representation in early modernism through several exhibition themes. Topics addressed in Composing with the Figure range from theatrical postures to the spatial relationship between the figure and its environment, and the reshaping or decomposition of the figure, with works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edvard Munch, Fernand Léger, and Marcel Duchamp. A thematic exhibition, Actors, Dancers, Bathers, traces the development of these genres from Paul Cézanne and André Derain to contemporary photography. The Language of the Body investigates gesture, portrait heads, and facial expressions in all mediums, including prints by Odilon Redon and Paul Klee. Posed to Unposed: Encounters with the Camera explores the development of figure compositions throughout the entire history of photography. Expression and the Series juxtaposes Auguste Rodin’s sculpted heads of Honoré de Balzac and Henri Matisse’s heads of his neighbor Jeanette Vaderin. Finally, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space is an installation of large figurative sculptures.



Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].