The Oasis of Matisse
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Oasis of Matisse is the largest exhibition of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) in the Netherlands ever. Enter an exuberant world of color and discover masterpieces by Matisse alongside work by his contemporaries from the Stedelijk Museum’s permanent collection. The Oasis of Matisse is an unforgettable experience!

Matisse sought the most perfect possible union between shape and color. He depicted Eastern nudes, colorful fabrics, carpets, potted plants, and idyllic landscapes. The exhibition reveals that, until his death, Matisse sought to evoke a bright, joyous simplicity with the minimum of means: the oasis of Matisse.


The Stedelijk has conceived a unique exhibition concept for this survey: the permanent collection on the museum’s ground floor will be enriched with a selection of Henri Matisse’s (1868-1854) classic pieces, creating surprising combinations with the work of his contemporaries, teachers, and followers.

Visitors are transported through the presentation of the permanent collection, enriched by more Matisse works than ever shown together in any Dutch museum. The exhibitions shows paintings, sculptures, and work on paper by the French master mnge the Stedelijk collection.
In this way, both the work of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century as well as other artists can be seen in a new light, and visitors will be able to encounter Matisse’s art at every stage of his artistic development.


At the heart of this exhibition is one of the most popular works in the Stedelijk’s collection: the monumental paper cut-out The Parakeet and the Mermaid (1952-1953). This iconic artwork is presented alongside other cut-outs by Matisse and rarely-exhibited works in fabric and stained glass inspired by them.

Bart Rutten, head of collections at the Stedelijk, says, “Comparing and contrasting Matisse’s work with pieces in the Stedelijk collection not only allows us to see the collection afresh, but also offers remarkable insights into one of the world’s most exhibited, researched, and written-about artists. When experienced in conversation with icons from our collection, lesser-known facets of Matisse’s work are revealed. For instance, the Expressionists drew heavily on the Fauves—seen beside Kirchner, you realize the rawness Matisse’s work has. And seeing how, in 1914, Matisse and Mondrian were both pushing towards abstraction, you witness two artists offering a very different, singular interpretation. Although Matisse’s work contained all the ingredients, he never embraced abstraction in its totality. For Matisse, the connection with reality was simply too compelling.”


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