On May 7, 1954, La Gerbe (The Sheaf) was exhibited at the Salon de Mai in Paris. This artwork was the result of a commission from Mr and Mrs Brody to create a ceramic for their house in Los Angeles. Matisse started to work on the project in 1953 and created three designs. In May 1953, the Brody met the artist and Frances indicated they wanted something “simpler such as sowing of colored spots on white”. The Sheaf was the 4th project.
The comments of Matisse are based on these quotes: ‘colors and lines are forces, the secret of creation lies in the interaction of these forces and their balance” and “it may seem that joy radiates from my work more than in the past but this is exactly what I tried to do 50 years ago. It has taken me all this time to reach a stage when I can say what I want to say”.
During WWII, Matisse often saw Rouveyre and they became very close. Rouveyre donated 450 letters and 100 poems sent by Matisse. They would affectionately call each other “my old carp”, “my little pal” “old brother” or “Matisse of my heart”. Rouveyre comments are based on his writings “Your thoughts make me complete. It puts me in paradise”, “it is a “jubilation of the soul”, “a flame by which I can warm myself”.
In September 1949, Le Corbusier visited Matisse, in Vence. Le Corbusier noted that Matisse “cuts out color papers one after the other, and arrange them”. Le Corbusier had previously expressed his admiration of the artist work. His comments are based on these quotes :“Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.” And “If the sun enters your house, it enters your heart a little”
Matisse a second life, ed Hazan 2005
Le Corbusier, Matisse, and the Meaning of Conceptual Art by Todd Cronan, April 10, 2020, Nonsite.org
The woman who said no to Matisse, LACMA
Henri's colors and lines, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)