tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg November 19, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
described the process as drawing with scissors. the exhibit at the museum of modern art highlights the final chapter of his career. it features cutouts as well as drawings and textiles. turning now to talk about the life and work of henri matisse is karl buchberg and jodi hauptman, the senior curator for drawings and prints. tell me about matisse. where does he belong in the pantheon of the 20th century? >> he is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. many people place him and also together as the two major people. he is a person with a long and varied career. what is so important with us is
in the late work, he was signaling to younger artists a new way of thinking about form. bringing together color and a drawing. >> the influence he had on a generation of artists was -- >> he had an enormous impact during his life. artists came to visit him in his studio. also, on a whole generation. of formction to form -- to its essentials, you can see the same thing in minimalism. >> this is the most exhaustive exhibition of the cutouts ever mounted. great opportunity for visitors to see cutouts from the beginning to the end of his career. also at the example you can see other works by matisse in the permanent collection. it is a great place to see his work.
>> there has not been an exhibition since 19 six t-1 in new york city -- 1961 in new york city. we are pleased to bring this work to a whole new audience. >> how much is part of the permanent collection? >> we have a small percentage, about 5%. there are a few museums with great collections. byler in basal. >> let's talk about -- we will talk about him. the swimming pool. this was done in the late summer of 1952. and had to go through an extraordinary restoration. tell me about it. the swimming pool in his dining room in his apartment in nice. it was facing away from the sun. it had been renovated by his wife in 1938.
the room was covered with burlap. assistant, take me to my favorite swimming pool. i want to switch -- sketch divers. he said, take me home, i will make my own swimming pool. that is what he did you read we put up a -- that is what he did. monochromely cut blue forms and had them pinned to the wall. it covered all the walls of his dining room. after his death, in 1954, the work was sent to paris and mounted. as were many of the large-scale works after his death. his wife and daughter oversaw the mounting. they had it mounted onto burlap, even though they knew it was not would consider conservation material. it had, by 1975, started to
change color. the burlap had gone from 10 to brown. to brown. i had three goals. one was to return the work to its original color balance. the second was to install it at the proper height. the third was to re-create the architecture of the original room so when a visitor came in, he or she would feel immersed in the swimming pool. not walk through it as had been done before. as we have mentioned, conservation took about 2000 hours spread over five years. behought the burlap would easy to remove. and unbolt thewn fabric strand by strand. >> put him in perspective. he did these in bed or a wheelchair -- or sitting up?
>> sometimes sitting up. a desk where he could sit up in bed and work. he had had it a difficult operation in 1941. it was a difficult recovery. referredmes written -- to that time after the surgery as his second life. i think he had a sense that he had a new lease on life, the opportunity to make something new. sometimes people say the cutouts are a product of weakness or sickness. what we see is what they did for him, what -- not what he could not do. ambition, indible quotable invention. he invents a new form and takes it as far as it can go. it is a great lesson about how an artist can push something. >> he started in his mid-70's.
he lived to 84. here's a man who at an advanced age created 250 cutouts. some are large, others are small. you put itg pool if into and is 52 feet. end isou put it end to 52 feet. it is not the sign of weakness, but of incredible exuberance. he was not about to give up. he worked day and a night. >> talk about this. you can see the beginnings -- >> it is before matisse realized he had invented a new form. it was a time when using cut what we were talking about as an expedient. you think about painting being a
labor-intensive act. uld often use paper to compose his forms and try out colors. this is at the beginning of the exhibition, the first thing you see. ofaddition to seeing the use cut paper, before he had realized he had invented something, it has a great materiality. you see all the elements. the painted paper. the tax and pins he would use to assemble these works. they were not initially glued. this work and a sense is a kind of what all the works look like in the studio. they had a high ability and flexibility. >> it is almost choreographed and spontaneous at the same time. >> he would cut pieces.
some he would discard, some he would use. he would pin them on and move them around. it was a dynamic process. he was living with them. on his walls. he was looking at them all the time. as you look at the photographs, you see one element is moving from one work to the next and then back. sometimes he is putting two works together to make a larger one. it is a dynamic process. >> did he and picasso influence each other? >> i think they did over there long career. they were competitive. they knew they were great titans of their century. -- matisse did not live far apart. did not he say something about north and south.
because matisse was from the north of france and gaza was from spain -- picasso was from spain? he came from a textile region. the interest in pinning and the cutouts relate to those early years. he loves the light of the south. >> he is living in nice? >> yes, and also an area that is a short trip away. he lives in a wonderful little house, called house of the dreams. >> the next work is 1943. the fall of icarus. >> this is a very special work. the forms are still pinned. observations, what
you might think is a small observation but what had amazing the large -- amazingly large implications for us, is when he composed his work, he would in the forms to a board or later he would have assistance pin them to his studio walls. when you think about pinning, something for him be underpinned and changed. that led us to understand that the studio was a place of flux and change. he would pay in the forms and make changes and read then. were accesshat idea to a trove of photographs in the matisse archives. we were able to see the way individual works would move and change and forms would move from one work to the other. icarus, which is the story of icarus getting too close to the sun in the wings melt, still has those pins. there is the very poignant part
of become position where his heart itself is pinned to the body. >> tummy me about matisse and color. tell me about matisse and color. >> he is a great colorist. he was also a great draftsman. drawings from many different times are wonderful and important and varied. with the cutouts, he was able to marry these two. he felt these were two conflicting desires, but with the cutouts, he called it cutting into vivid color. drawing with scissors. he was able to create both the but a contour in color. that is the joy of these works. >> even though he was a political artist, people have
-- she was not a political artist, people have suggested this is a comment on nazi aggression. used cut paper. it is happening during a war. it raises the question of how does an artist invent under such circumstances. we asked ourselves that question. many have asked that question. he was affected by the war. his wife and daughter were arrested for work in the resistance to read he was worried about them. he was worried about his friends and colleagues. he was come double. -- comfortable. he would sometimes send food and supplies to his friends were suffering. he is making jazz at this time.
it is with jazz that he understands he has invented something, a cutout operation. anunderstands it is not expedient but a full-blown method. next is lagoon, also from the illustrated book. devoted tojazz -- the theme of the circus. there are moments he is thinking back to a trip to take edie -- hiti in 1930. what is interesting about the lagoons is they are abstract. atisse pushing towards abstraction. the way he uses positives and negatives. if you look at the white form and flip it, it fits into the white running along the top read >> the next one is composition
black and red. it shows the way in image can be created using positive or negative. cut athe left, he has leaf form or og form. -- algae form. the negative is just above it. to the right, the pink form is the negative of the white. positive white form moved to another work and now exists in another work. it is both positive and negative works work, and then moving from one composition to the next. >> next is pale blue window. >> this is a design for a window for the chapel. as one ofed the work his great masterpieces. when aject started former nurse of his came to him
with a design for stained-glass windows for a new chapel adjacent to the residents. she looked at the design and spent some time with it. and then set it aside. what started as a design for one window turned into an entire design for every element of the chapel. the priests, everything. >> you saw this as a personal , -- he saw this as a personal challenge. >> he did. it was years in the making. shifts in the architecture. the window we are looking at now, the main window in the church, is the second version. he went through three tries before he decided on the final version. >> in 1952, time life commissioned a stained-glass
window for their headquarters in rockefeller center. they asked for something on the christmas team. theme. it was on view for one season, and then they were given to moma . they are in our collection. it is a wonderful example of him using painted papers for a final product. paint aware that when you into a different medium, the colors and service, dishing would change. he was happy with it. we know he saw it because there is a photograph of him looking at the final window before it was shipped to new york. did he talk about this like a score from an orchestra? >> he talked about the final version as the performance by the extra. >> next slide, this is
from 1952. >> it is glorious. when you are in front of it, you're surrounded by it. in his studio, when he composed he composed it on his studio wall and went around a corner. it went around a radiator. is of the things it shows the way he used his own studio wall. he always had ambition to work large and had hoped for big mural commissions. he never really got them. he walls of his studio, traveled quite a distance. he was able to have the works.nts pin those get to a kind of size and expanse he had always hoped for.
when he describes being almost inside this work, he says he has made a little garden in which he can walk. -- we areo interested very focused on the color and the relationship of the color in the work. he was also interested in how the light worked around the work. a kind ofave presence. >> how did he work? with the scissors and assistants? assistants were always women. they painted the rectangles of paper with washes of water -- it is essentially watercolor. >> they would create the color he wanted and paint them. is a bit of a controversy.
one assistant says the mixed colors. assistant says they always used the color from the tube. he would pick the tubes. he was specific about the colors he wanted. he wanted to make sure they had not spoiled. the color is an and norma. 17 oranges, seven yellows. it is an incredible range. although you think it is simple, and sexually complex and sophisticated. >> -- it is incredibly complex and sophisticated. subject he had tackled throughout his career. you cc did figures, nude figures. seeded figures, noon figures. he had a lot of trouble with it.
the first work, cold the nude form, he begins with that. form, he the nude begins with that. he could not get it right. he begins to draw. he draws the figure over and over again until he learns it. he never drew on the colored paper and drew it. he was always going to it. .- drawing-- next to it he set learned the form, the sketchbook aside. he was able to cut the work with complete ease. he cut three of them in the span of an hour. what's interesting about these, way heers, you see the composes a work from many colors
and forms. with the blue nude, he cuts the paper. cuts the blue and then separates it. he lets the white ground below come through. that is what describes the torso and shins. it is the white that lets the figure come to life. you know it is made out of paper. paper is flat. that these works have a real free dimensionality. realt these works have a three dimensionality. >> some of the figures are blue and some are only in white. the water around them is defining the figure. he's expending -- extending this principle. >> this happens in 1952, where he reduces his pellet to loop
and white. at this moment, 1952, he is working only with this dutiful blue. >> -- beautiful blue. >> this is the snail. close to the end of his life. very large. he not only cuts some of these edges but also for them. -- tore them. the placement of the rectangles that gives you the idea of the movement of this very small animal. 1950. next slide is about >> this is considered a matisse's most painterly cut out. it a figure, wearing a robe. setting read one of the things that is interesting is his treatment of the table with the pink top.
it has a sense of perspective. there was a dimension and space in the work. some of the other compositions have a flatness where it is about the decorative or decoration, where you might think about pattern and tile and things that are flatter. this has three-dimensional space you can imagine entering. the fourth and final version of a commission for a ceramic for the brody family in los angeles. had the dimensions totally wrong. that was too large. the third, they did not take and accept. he finally accepted -- they finally accepted this. it was made into a ceramic. is in the los angeles county museum. >> he once said, my walls are
covered with cutouts. >> that was early on when he was making smaller scale's cutouts . pinned to hishem studio walls. he has a sense that they are going to be something. he doesn't yet know what he is going to do with them. >> over the years, critics and the public have come to realize this is in fact true. what he has said has come to pass. what we are trying to show in this exhibition, especially showing so many together, is how important the work is. is important,t but when you see the group together, you see how important e-commerce meant is -- the accomplishment is. on viewutouts will be 2015.a until february 8,
petersburg -- herman -- hermitage museum in st. petersburg is one of the greatest, schmitz. the director has held the position since 1992. i'm pleased to have him back at the table. >> thank you. >> what does it mean to you, this exam? -- museum? is my home. i have grown up at this museum. my father was director. another thing is, it is a symbol of russian culture. it is a museum of world art. russia appreciates
perhaps for russia, even more. it combines a great collection and the history of russia. you feel this history in all the rooms of the hermitage. you feel the history of russia, the russian empire. it is all connected. all the main events through history have done something to the hermitage. >> the centrality of catherine the great and crating the creating the- in collection. >> she was quite an impressive woman. she was extremely clever. she was fully non-russian, she was german. no drop of russian blood. but she was the most russian czar on the throne. she understood what people
needed, russian needed. she does it all the right things to promote russia as a great institution. she knew to be a great statement a great army, a economy, and collection in museums. >> i'm struck by the capacity of great leaders to view their role a significant part of the suite of history. they understand the context of it. what came before. are they want it to go. getgreatest among leaders and pounce on it. make it their mission. >> it is extremely important. it shows when the leader is great. museums show it. futures we live for the and we live because of the past.
today is nothing. tomorrow is important. unionn after the soviet all apart and disintegrated, moment in which vladimir putin has said was the worst day of his life, there was always the culture to hang onto. are.e.r.a.t we culture -- we are a culture. >> when the world that disintegrates, when we live in difficult situations, the culture keeps us together. sometimes we have to say, culture is more important. init is part of the conflict ukraine and along the border, georgia. >> also in the situation. people say, what do you think about this and this?
we must keep our cultural relations. we'll must -- we must work with bridges. if you go on this post, why i am here in new york, we have a meeting. we are discussing exhibitions and showing this film. people are coming to us. we must keep this. culture helps us to be human, even in difficult situations. >> did you see the film called 'monuments men?' >> yes. i think it is wonderful. a wonderful book and film. i like the book better. >> it is rarely that you don't. it's the exception when the film is better than the book. >> it is a very important to
show people can risk of their lives, give their lives for culture. for art. >> this is worth preserving. we have to risk our lives for this. it is our heritage. >> the culture. art has its own rights. >> a couple of things about catherine. she hid the collection. >> it was not very public when she was collecting. it was open for the people who came to the palace. it was the royal collection. every ambassador was taken through the rooms. common people did not come. it was a diplomatic thing. >> hermitage means that, doesn't it have something to do with seclusion? the title and the term? >> it is the idea of collecting.
private collections becoming open. there are these dams which were called public museums. whichre are some museums were called public museums. the hermitage has become more and more open. after the revolution, it became very much open. now it is even may be more. the evolution of museums. >> catherine king to needed -- to buy artontinued even when financial circumstances were difficult. >> yes. friedrich had no money to buy the collection. she bought it. the -- it was of a gesture not only for the
outside world but for the public. the public she had around her, the people. we can buy art. >> you think it is important for museums to expand beyond their principal location? >> is a very good question. on one side, yes. we must make our collection accessible. but it must be a dynamic system. if you just build one building after another, at a certain moment, you don't have enough money to pay for electricity and everything. maybe you don't have enough collections of the same level. it must be dynamic. we have a project called great hermit taj -- hermitage. we have built buildings for open storage where we show everything that we have. public.cessible for the
the me heavy satellites outside of st. petersburg in russia. -- then we have satellites outside of st. petersburg in russia. we have to show everything that we have come about in a proper weight. >> is there a fascination and appreciation of contemporary art in russia? >> like in every country in the world, most of the people, a lot of the people hate contemporary art. the same is true for russia. but russia's one of the titles of contemporary art. what we tried to do any we have a big manifesto of contemporary art. we want to show that contemporary art is just art. hermitage, there is no big difference. we just try to understand. if you don't understand contemporary art and say, i
don't understand it, i say look at el greco. you understand what it is? i think we are doing a good job of involving more people of different generations. >> you hosted the traveling exhibition. exhibitioneuropean of contemporary art. that thet know political situation would be so troubled. we managed to organize it. we are proud we managed to organize it and get it running in st. petersburg. it was a great event of cooperation. people understanding each other. >> how much influence on you and your sense of art did your father boris have on you?
>> not only my father but also he was an archaeologist and orientalist. looking at how you have to live and behave. and how you work with people. father whom ing a have seen all my life working. >> he was director for about 25 years? >> what is more important, he worked all his life for the hermitage. from his childhood. all his life in the hermitage. >> he lived in the hermitage? >> partly in a building near the hermit taj -- hermitage. and then we moved. this museum is a family. >> i am always struck by museum directors who describe walking
through the museum and communing with the paintings at night. having the capacity to see them alone with no noise and no one else there. >> this is fantastic. we tried to show it. allow people to bring guests and friends at night at night, you are looking at what is wrong with it. museums.to go to other >> what purpose are you in new york for? >> we are screening the film. i take it is a fantastic film. for thehave a meeting friends of hermaitage. it is a fundraiser. our goal is to bring collections
of american art. have american art be represented. recognize american and russian artists. it is important to say thank you. we are getting, it is on the way, a collection of american record of art. -- decorative art. by one of our great friends. decorativeion of art. ceramics, pins, glass and other things. it will be a great event artistically. it is a great addition to our american collection, which is rather small. because we have not had museum exchanges. it is an important gesture of cultural friendship. two issues, both about
history and the future. what is the idea of for covering art stolen by the 90's -- nq azis. does that involve you? >> it has involved us in different ways. when we discussed the hidden treasure of the german paintings taken from germany. art fromaken a lot of germany after the war as compensation for what was destroyed in russia. most of it was given back to read some of it remains. we are discussing it. we have found a recipe with our german colleagues. make exhibitions and publish books. art belongs to the people. what we don't have is a german collection.
what germans have stolen, the notches have stolen from the soviet union, most is back. we don't have all the things stolen from the jews. but with all the stories of these collections and out of the new ones -- and now the new ones, some issues arise. four german museums. the knothe things -- nazis, skated avant-garde art from the germans. law, it isgerman back for to get it museums. sometimes museums are in a difficult position. we are involved discussions and talking with german colleagues about this.
>> looking into the future, the google art project. >> is not only the google art project. doing their own websites. they have fantastic technologies. google art project is one of these. it is a very important issue. du use this technology? we use it a lot. there must be a line between the virtual and real. the main thing which exams are about is real things. -- which museums are about is real things. tople are standing in line look at -- >> the real painting. we have to find the balance which is not easy. in addition toit
real things and real scholarship in the museum field. "russianhe film, arc," what did that mean to you? >> it is a fantastic film. it is the story of a person going through rooms of the hermitage. through russian history. with a perfect understanding of what russia means. noah's ark.ock -- culture goes on and museums go on. it was screened in the national gallery in washington. worked in russian thiss, they loved to see
russia. the russia they studied and in no. w. and ikno bring tohat we want to our colleagues and friends. to all the world. this image of russia as a great ark four world art. the presidenthat of russia was the deputy mayor of st. petersburg. is he from st. petersburg? >> he is from st. petersburg. he was born and spent his childhood in st. petersburg. >> you know him well? >> yes, because of st. petersburg and also because of cultural institutions. he is always paying attention to cultural institutions. >> some think he wants to retake andriy create greater russia --
and re-create. great russia. >> understandings are different. what is important, exams like ours. we told the story of injury or russia. we told the true story. it helps you to understand what is needed. not going to the past, ussr. asating something that is good as the good sites of imperial russia. i think he understands that. >> for the things that is interesting about art, -- one of the things that is interesting about art, it comes from artists who enjoy the freedom of expression. some worry there are elements of censorship and coercion in russia that are not typical of
that. >> there are two sides. one is censorship. we had a conference in st. petersburg, and international conference. the american colleagues were discussing two kinds of of censorship. the censorship of the government in the center strip the government, society. ofch -- and the censorship society. every country has laws. sometimes new laws are not good, but they are laws. if things go inside censorship inside the law, it is ok. we are prepared to make money first. something,ohibit us no. only keep in the lines of russian law. if somebody would like it, i
will defend it. it is possible to show and discuss a lot of things even in the realms of the law. everything was discussed and shown from the revolution to homosexuality. nobody demanded to take things down because it was done in a proper language. union. from the soviet we know how to live in a situation of censorship. is not the worst thing in the world. you can manage. mention vladimir putin, what one phrase or characteristic most defined the man you know? that the perception in the world or the u.n.? where the state department of the u.s.? what one quality, for you, defines him? >> there are two qualities.
one for me is important, when he in thepresident, he was kremlin. a journalist asked him, how do you think about all this luxury here? he said, i have seen the hermitage. that was important. when he became president, nobody knew who he was. people were asking who he was. russia cameler of the firstge city, language is german, coming from a city like st. petersburg is important. him comeood thing for from st. petersburg. >> the characteristics are, he is cultured. >> he has a good cultural
background which means he has good taste. he understands the importance of culture. he tries to help culture. intellectual, more than more rulers -- more than other rulers of russia before. >> you mean after the revolution? >> after the revolution t. this is important for us. all these things are important. >> we always ask this because of the russian cultural heritage. are there great novelists writing today that capture the sweep of history like tolstoy? >> i am afraid not. >> nor here, either. but something is emerging. some good writers. we have more good writers then maybe 50 years ago.
>> the stories are the same thing that great novelist write about? pride.ealousy, rage, the same things. they discuss the internal problems. it will be ok. >> is great to have you here. thank you very much. congratulations on becoming anniversary, 250 years of the hermitage. >> i am sending you an invitation. >> thank you. thank you for joining us. we will see you next time. ♪