[Katie Ridder's Seaweed fabric in lime.]
Matisse and Picasso are in town. Joined by twelve other 20th-century masters, including Mondrian, Bearden, and Pollock, they will be away from MoMA and visiting the High through April 29, 2012.
Today I went up into the galleries with a mission. Of course I wanted to see old friends, but in a few weeks I'll be talking about textile and interior designer (and major Matisse fan) Katie Ridder, so I was looking for connections. With his wonderful sense of decorative pattern and strong color juxtapositions -- not to mention his personal passion for textiles -- Matisse is often a favorite of designers. Still, Ridder's fabrics and rooms convey a serious affinity for the artist. And I like to try and look at iconic works from fresh angles.
[Be sure to check out the High's new app for the Picasso to Warhol exhibition. The show marks the first time all fourteen masters have been exhibited side-by-side in this way in the Southeast. Eagle eyes may spot a glimpse of Ridder's Wave fabric behind the iPad.]
What I ended up doing was spending extra time with Picasso's Green Still Life painted in Avignon in the summer of 1914. Today, Matisse is so associated with joyful color that it can be easy to forget how revolutionary his work was. Similarly, think Picasso and what probably comes to mind is Cubism, not color. If you haven't seen it in a while, take a look at the vibrating warm and cool hues, stripes, dots, and domestic elements in Green Still Life. While Ridder's Seaweed (available as wallpaper or fabric) reminds me first and foremost of Matisse, I did make a connection between the spray of small specks in her design and the dots in Green.