Art Editions

Sep 2018

ISBN 978-1-9164052-0-2


Becoming-Matisse: Between Painting and Architecture

Undoing the Image 2

Original Edition

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£26 / $31.95

Translated by

  • Robin Mackay

Accused by his contemporaries of both arid overtheorisation and a hedonistic abandonment to the pleasures of colour, decried for a preoccupation with the merely decorative, retrospectively consigned to a subsidiary role in an official History of Art that sees the liberation of colour from iconic conventions and symbolic associations as the inevitable precursor to the purified colour of modernist formalism…Matisse’s untimely singularity, his break with the history of modern art, and the part he played in undoing the image are ripe for the reevaluation operated here by Éric Alliez and Jean-Claude Bonne, who with this volume restore Matisse to his place within the archaeology of contemporary art, at the same time continuing to transform our understanding of the latter.

For it was Matisse who, with his experimental pursuit of the construction of colours as a means of vital expression, produced the Fauves’ decisive break with Form; and, in doing so, also opened up painting to its outside, releasing it onto the walls and into architecture by way of a decorativity virtually generalised to the whole environment.

Defining this ‘decoration’ physically and metaphysically in its difference to the semiology of Picasso’s collages and papiers collés, but also to the new plastic of Van Doesburg and Mondrian, Alliez and Bonne set out the principles of the energetics deployed by Matisse in his diagrammatic use of colour and pattern as signs-forces, in the path from painting toward the cut-out and beyond.

This second ‘case study’ gives us a new Matisse extracted from clichés and stereotypes both popular and learned, revealing the complex function of his work and thought in contemporary art’s escape from the aesthetic image and its critique of the Art-Form itself.

Undoing the Image

1. Body Without Organs, Body without Image: Ernesto Neto’s Anti-Leviathan
2. Becoming-Matisse: Between Painting and Architecture
3. Duchamp Looked at (From the Other Side)
i. Descending Painting
ii. Picking up the Thread
iii. Given Readymades
4. Three Entries in the Form of Escape Diagrams
i. DB Entry [Daniel Buren]
ii. GMC Entry [Gordon Matta-Clark]
iii. GB Entry [Günter Brus]
5. Boîte HO [Hélio Oiticica]

  • Becoming Matisse: Between Painting and Architecture
  • Bibliography
  • List of Figures
  • Index