Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Zorn and Matisse

My cousin Leilani and I decided to check out a couple of exhibitions at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco to celebrate the start of the new year and do something fun while I'm in town.  Our first stop was Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter.  Zorn was one of the most famous artists at the turn of the 20th Century and the exhibition features 100 pieces including his watercolors, oil paintings, etchings and even some bronze statues.  There is no denying how talented Zorn was even at an early age.  His watercolors are amazingly detailed and realistic looking- you could be fooled to think that you were looking at a photograph.  He travelled extensively and painted local scenes and people.  He also did a lot of portraiture work of members of high society and important people of the time, including US Presidents Grover Cleveland and the official White House portrait of William Howard Taft.  In his later years he returned to his native Sweden and depicted scenes of Nordic life and customs.  I highly recommend this exhibition, which runs until 2 February.

Next we looked at Matisse from SFMOMA.  As SFMOMA is closed for construction, this exhibition brings together works by Henri Matisse held by SFMOMA and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  It is a small show of 27 paintings, drawings and bronze statues spanning four decades of his career.  Seeing Matisse's work was a bit of a contrast to the realism of Anders Zorn, but I liked the use of vibrant colors in his paintings.  The exhibition runs until 7 September so you have plenty of time to check out this little slice of Henri Matisse.

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