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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.

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