Henri Matisse: La Gerbe

(Los Angeles–April 4, 2013) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is pleased to present Henri Matisse: La Gerbe, an exhibition highlighting Henri Matisse’s final commissioned artwork, which Frances L. Brody promised to LACMA in honor of the museum’s twenty-fifth anniversary and bequeathed in 2010. In 1952, Los Angeles philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Sidney F. Brody contacted Matisse and asked that he create an artwork for the patio of their new home designed by A. Quincy Jones. This resulted in a 2,000 lb., 12 x 18 foot ceramic piece titled La Gerbe (The Sheaf), which would be the artist’s last commissioned artwork.

This exhibition marks the first time in which the ceramic artwork will be on display with the rare, full-scale maquette, on loan from the University of California, Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum. Late in his career, Matisse systematically developed a technique in which he cut vibrantly colored papers into organic shapes and then arranged them to his studio’s wall. This method gave the artist the creative freedom to combine his views on form, color, plane, and space.  Matisse reflected on the immediacy of the cut-out medium in 1951: “The cut-out paper allows me to draw in color. It is a simplification....It is not a starting point but a culmination.” He later added, “The cut-out is what I have now found the simplest and most direct way to express myself.”

Image credit:

Henri Matisse, La Gerbe (The Sheaf), 1953, Los Angeles County Musum of Art, Gift of Francis L. Brody, in honor of the museum's twenty-fifth anniversary © 2012 Succession H. Matisse/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY 

Exhibition: Henri Matisse: La Gerbe On View: April 21-September 8, 2013 Location: Ahmanson Building, Level 2
  • Exhibitions