Exhibitions

About the exhibition

Matisse did not call his audience’s attention to his pairs and series. He only rarely exhibited such companion pieces together. But this was precisely what we did in the exhibition Matisse – Doubles and Variations.

By exhibiting a large selection of Matisse’s pairs and series together the exhibition allowed visitors the opportunity to trace the investigative process that kept Matisse occupied all his life.

Matisse often returned repeatedly to specific subjects in his paintings, but when he did so he would always change his method or idiom. By repeating identical motifs while creating a different look every time, Matisse examined the qualities, weakness, and strengths of each individual mode of expression.

Matisse’s best work

The exhibition showed a splendid string of Matisse’s paintings; masterpieces that are only rarely exhibited together. The exhibition was arranged in co-operation with two major players within the field: the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Collaboration between these three museums made it possible to bring together a wide range of Matisse’s best work. These works are highly sought after, but many of them are fragile, which means that they are rarely allowed to travel.

Paintings, drawings, and photographs

The exhibition comprised a total of 53 paintings by Matisse, 15 drawings (two very large and 13 smaller pieces), and a number of photographs.

The results of new technical studies was presented in conjunction with the exhibition and in the catalogue. The catalogue features 28 articles offering analyses of the works on display. The catalogue is available from the museum bookshop

See 9 selected works by Matisse:

Delve deeper into Matisse’s universe and read about nine selected works by Matisse:


Experience the exhibition at Centre Pompidou, SMK and Metropolitan Museum of Art

The exhibition is presented at the three museums in the following periods: 

Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris
Matisse. Paires et séries
7 March – 18 June, 2012

Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
Matisse – Doubles and Variations
14 July – 28 October, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Matisse – In Search of True Painting
4 December, 2012 – 17 March, 2013

Curators of the exhibition

Cécile Debray
Curator of Modern Collections
Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris

Dorthe Aagesen
Curator, Senior Researcher
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

Rebecca Rabinow
Curator, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Film from Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou has produced a small film about the exhibition’s focus.  Watch it here:



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