About this project
This digital project has been designed for visually impaired people and aims to explore some of the ideas, innovations and working methods of Matisse and Picasso, two of the twentieth century’s most influential artists.
This project complemented the Matisse Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern in 2002, but was also intended to be a lasting resource supporting independent study and visits to Tate once the exhibition had closed.
Matisse and Picasso
Matisse and Picasso are two of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. Their work was innovative because they believed that art was about more than just imitating what the eye sees of the world at any given moment. Their art uses forms of perception that are more abstract and personal such as memory, emotion and experience.
They overturned artistic traditions that had held sway in the West for five hundred years. Yet despite showing the way for later artists whose work would be purely abstract, Matisse and Picasso never abandoned subject matter entirely. No matter how distorted or confusing their work appears to be, it always represents things familiar to us like an apple, a goldfish or the human figure.
Their long and prolific careers encompassed painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, glass and theatre design. They drew inspiration from artists of the past, from art of different cultures, from the modern world around them and, importantly, from each other. Each saw the other as their only artistic rival and equal. Picasso said that ‘All things considered, there is only Matisse’ while Matisse said ‘Only one person has the right to criticise me…Picasso’.