Matisse: Life & Spirit


Spanning six decades of the artist’s work, Matisse: Life & Spirit presents an extraordinary immersion in the range and depth of the art of Henri Matisse, one of the world’s most beloved, innovative and influential artists. 

The works reach from his early adventures in colour as a Fauvist through to the serene and distilled designs for his chapel in Vence in the south of France. Through paintings, drawings, sculptures and a compelling presentation of his triumphant cut-outs, it reveals how Matisse renewed his vision time and again over his long career, seeking new ways of celebrating the seen world and expressing the energy he felt in it. 

Highlights include the especially important early work Le luxe I 1907; the mid-career masterpiece Decorative figure on an ornamental ground 1925; and the majestic self-portrait, The sorrow of the king 1952, one of the largest of the famous cut-outs that the artist created in his late career. 

Filled with brilliant colour, dynamic energy, visual joy and emotional power, Matisse: Life & Spirit offers an inspirational journey through the life and art of this ceaselessly inventive and life-affirming painter. 

Developed in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which holds an exceptional collection of works by the artist, Matisse: Life & Spirit is the greatest single exhibition of Matisse masterworks ever to be seen in Sydney. 

ISBN: 9781741741537. 

Publication Date: April 2022. 

Format: Hardcover. 

Pages: 264. 

Illustrations: 100 colour. 

Dimensions: 26.7 x 21.6cm. 


Aurélie Verdier is curator of modern art at the Centre Pompidou. Roger Benjamin is professor of art history at the University of Sydney. Alastair Wright is associate professor of the history of art at St John's College, Oxford. Patrice Deparpe is the director of the Matisse Museum in Cateau-Cambrésis, France. Justin Paton is head curator of international art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Marjolaine Buezard is an assistant curator at the Centre Pompidou. Anne Théry was a researcher at the Centre Pompidou and is now at the Matisse Archives. Jackie Dunn is co-curator and editor of Matisse Life & Spirit with Justin Paton and Aurélie Verdier. She is special exhibitions curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales where recent exhibitions she has curated include The Lady and the Unicorn (2018), Under the stars (2020), and Family: Visions of a Shared Humanity in partnership with Pérez Art Museum Miami (2021).