Online Event

Henri Matisse was one of the greatest artists to work in the genre of the ‘livre d’artiste’, creating his most important books over a period of eighteen years from 1932 to 1950 – a time of personal upheaval and physical suffering, as well as of conflict and occupation for France. Louise Rogers Lalaurie first started exploring the poetic interplay of text and image in these books through a process of translation for her MPhil, awarded by the University of London in 2012. 

Now, in September 2020, she has published the first major English-language study of this fascinating aspect of Matisse’s vast oeuvre - just as the Centre Pompidou inaugurates its major retrospective Matisse, comme un roman, marking Matisse’s 150th anniversary year with a special focus on the livres d'artiste, his other works for print, and his writings and pronouncements on art.

Join Louise Rogers Lalaurie and Anna-Louise Milne for a discussion of how Matisse: The Books grew from the thesis, what the work reveals of the artist's deep engagement with questions of visual translation, and how the close reading of his books shapes our understanding of Matisse's relations to his models/muses, critics and public, and his thoughts on the authenticity, consolation and catharsis of creative expression; how, too, the wartime books help us reevaluate his decision to live in the collaborationist Vichy zone of France, and the profound statement of resistance and creative freedom that they express.