At the starting of the Sixties, a mom in her early 30s, Jackie Matisse was nonetheless in search of the private inventive territory that might enable her to specific herself. She was “interested in the art of my time”, she recalled in 2000—she was the granddaughter of Henri Matisse and already collaborating along with her stepfather Marcel Duchamp—however was trying to perceive her place inside it. After which, whereas taking a taxi from New York Metropolis to the airport, in 1962, she caught sight of a kite flying above the rooftops of Harlem—a “line drawn in the sky”—and turned “fixed on the idea of making kites … and using the sky as a canvas”.
In 1970, she signed the Art Volant Manifesto—it declares that the kite is “a vehicle joining the spirit and the physical”—with six different artists. Over the subsequent 4 many years, Jackie made “flying art” along with her kites of vivid colors—acrylics on sail fabric—and patterns minimize in crepe paper, She made teams of kites to fly inland, to work with sky, fields and forests; teams to be flown in the gentle by the sea; and teams, in waterproof paper, to be flown and filmed underneath water. The thought of submersible kites got here to her in 1979 when one of her creations fell into the sea.
She devised methods to indicate this basically kinetic art in gallery areas, with the lengthy, patterned kite tails massed in teams in a breeze, or looping up and down on mechanical reels, in seemingly perpetual movement. She confirmed in Paris in 1972, in London in 1976—at the Institute of Up to date Arts—and in exhibitions throughout Europe and the US, with giant retrospectives in 2000—Art that Soars: Kites and Tails by Jackie Matisse at the Mingei Worldwide Museum, San Diego—and in 2013 at the Musée Matisse in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Normandy.
Jackie stood out in her area for her distinctive tackle chance, not least in collaboration: with gentle and wind; with the musician-artist John Cage, the musician David Tudor, the choreographer Merce Cunningham, and the artists Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle; and with know-how. Her work in 2002-05 with Virginia Tech and the College of Illinois produced the most formidable work in virtual reality that the art world had seen to this point, powered by a distributed—in different phrases collaborative—community of supercomputers, in the early days of broadband web. Critics had been taken with how readily Jackie entrusted course of to a number of technologists to scan, code and manipulate the digital fashions of her work, and show them by projecting pictures on to the inside surfaces of a dice, or “Cave”, constructed with 3m tall squares. The viewer, sporting special glasses, was an interactive collaborator, capable of manipulate a virtual kite utilizing a wand. The VR kite present was mounted at tech occasions in Europe and the US, with a simplified model, on a flat display screen, made for her gallery exhibits corresponding to Art Volant at Zone, New York, in 2005.
Jackie had a bilingual feeling for the power of chance. For the English that means—happenstance—in a means that Duchamp and Cage would have accepted: the sight of the Harlem kite in 1962; the kite misplaced to the sea in 1979. And she or he recognised the French that means of “chance”—her success—to have had Henri Matisse as a grandfather and Marcel Duchamp as a stepfather. “I have had a lot of luck in my life,” she stated in 2013, “perhaps most of all in having the opportunity to spend time with Henri Matisse and watch him at work towards the end of his long life; and then to know and work for Marcel Duchamp, from a younger generation than Matisse but just as engaging.” (My translation.) Duchamp, she stated, gave her “permission” to seek out her personal means.
I’ve had a lot of luck in my life, maybe most of all in having the alternative to spend time with Henri Matisse and watch him at work in the direction of the finish of his lengthy life; and then to know and work for Marcel Duchamp
Jacqueline (Jackie) Matisse was born in Neuilly, on the edge of Paris, in 1931. Her father was Pierre Matisse, a main up to date art supplier of his era who opened his house in the Fuller Constructing on East 57th Avenue, New York, in the 12 months of Jackie’s delivery. Her mom, Alexina “Teeny” Sattler, the daughter of a distinguished eye surgeon in Cincinnati, Ohio, had moved in the early Twenties to Paris the place she was briefly a pupil of Constantin Brancusi. Pierre and Teeny divided household life between Paris and New York, with the addition of a farm in New Jersey in 1941. Pierre represented his father, Henri, in New York, in addition to the cream of European artists of the youthful era together with Balthus, Marc Chagall, André Derain, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró (Jackie’s godfather) and Yves Tanguy. The exhibits he placed on for Miró (37 in all) and Giacometti had been of explicit significance.
Jackie was the eldest of three youngsters, with two brothers, Peter and Paul. When she was seven, a frieze that her mother and father had commissioned from Miró for the nursery bed room arrived in New York. Girl Haunted by the Passage of the Chook-Dragonfly Omen of Dangerous Information (now in the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) is over 3m lengthy and depicts monstrous figures in a claustrophobic house.
Jackie’s brother Peter was saved awake by the portray, and ideas of the monstrous tooth. However Jackie, who remembered the portray by the title the household invented—“The Battle of the Sea Monsters”—advised John Russell, creator of Matisse: father and son (1999), that she remembered it as dramatic and energising. Years later, when she had created kites that “flew” underwater, entwining vividly patterned and colored tails, she discovered herself considering again to “The Battle of the Sea Monsters”.
At the Brearley Faculty in New York, Jackie made buddies with Niki de Saint Phalle who turned, in the Sixties, along with her second husband, Tinguely, a neighbour of Jackie’s in France. (Jackie later created glass containers for sacred waters at Saint Phalle’s stupendous Tarot Backyard, 1979-2002, at Garavicchio, on the coast north of Rome.) In 1939, Pierre Matisse was in France at the outbreak of the Second World Warfare and was mobilised to serve in the navy. The redoubtable Teeny sorted each household and gallery in New York till Pierre returned in the winter of 1939-40.
As a younger girl, Jackie was portrayed by artists in her household and their circle. In 1947, she was sketched by Balthus and, in a number of drawings, by her grandfather. (It was the 12 months that Henri revealed Jazz, a assortment of cut-paper works on circus themes; the clear strains and improvisatory character of Henri’s cut-paper work has echoes in the “moon” shapes, impressed by shards of damaged plates, that characteristic in Jackie’s art.) One of Henri’s portraits, the most monumental of the set, foreshadows the grave and considerate magnificence revealed in the pictures Man Ray made of Jackie round 1960, a solo portrait and group portraits with two of her youngsters.
In 1949, Jackie began literature research at the Sorbonne, in Paris. In the identical 12 months, her mother and father had been divorced. Teeny renewed an previous acquaintance with Marcel Duchamp and married him in 1954. In the identical 12 months, Jackie married Bernard Monnier, the descendant of many generations of bankers and art collectors. They had three sons and one daughter.
From 1959 to 1968, Jackie labored on the building of Duchamp’s new sequence of Boîte-en-valise—transportable miniature monographs with reproductions of the artist’s personal work, a idea that he had first developed in the late Thirties. There have been 150 of them. “They were very complicated,” she remembered in a memoir of Duchamp written for the Tate Gallery, “because you had to put frames on the mini reproductions of his work. I had to fit it all exactly the way he had planned. He didn’t give many instructions about how to do it, so I had to use my good sense to assemble them.”
It’s in no small half because of her help that Duchamp scholarship expanded and thrived over latest many years
Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Portray and Sculpture, Museum of Trendy Art, New York
That “good sense” helped make Jackie an eloquent champion of her personal work, a nurturing host for gatherings at her home south of Paris, and a clear-headed custodian of the recollections of Duchamp and of her grandfather. In 1987, she accompanied her father, Pierre (who died in 1989), on a journey to see the nice works by Henri Matisse—together with La Danse (1910)—in the assortment of the Hermitage, in St Petersburg. After Duchamp’s loss of life in 1968, Teeny had moved to Villiers-sous-Grez, close to Fontainebleau, the place she made an archive of Marcel’s work. Jackie joined in this work in the mid-Nineteen Eighties (Teeny died in 1995)—translating texts and recording recollections of Duchamp for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “It is in no small part thanks to her support,” says Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Portray and Sculpture at the Museum of Trendy Art, New York, “that Duchamp scholarship expanded and thrived over recent decades.” That work is now carried on underneath the auspices of the Affiliation Marcel Duchamp.
As her work developed, Jackie Matisse added to her repertoire hanging assemblages—with moon shapes, and discovered items—some of them minute and held on strands of hair; and miniature kites bottled in water or air. Filmed flying kites on a seashore for her 2000 San Diego present, she exhibits complete focus as she deftly handles the line. “Come on! Allez!” she cries. “Please climb.” After many years of experiment as a kite artist, her work was nonetheless on the transfer, a collaboration with nature, a recreation of chance.
Jacqueline Matisse; born Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, 12 July 1931; married 1954 Bernard Monnier (three sons, one daughter; marriage dissolved 1982); died close to Paris 17 Could 2021
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