Abstract Critical

Robin Greenwood compares Matisse’s The Snail and Memories of Oceania

“Memory of Oceania is more varied and more spatial, I think, than The Snail. There is far more open irregularity to the arrangement of elements, more variety of sizes, and what I think is an interesting tension between the drawn lines and the cut-out shapes. Most interestingly of all is the kind of imaginative spatial participation invited by the work, as I describe above, which made it a distinctly more physical experience than would seem possible with such a fragile and slender medium, particularly when seen next to Hofmann’s paving-slabs of paint. More physical, because somehow more rounded and three-dimensional, offering something more complex than Hofmann’s booming, backwards and forwards  ‘push-pull’ of colour; of which it had a little of itself, but was not restricted to.”

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