Ep 119: Justin Paton, curator of ‘Matisse: Life and Spirit’
Listen now
A video version of this episode can be viewed here Justin Paton is the co-curator of the most exciting exhibition to arrive on Sydney’s doorstep since our world was upturned by the pandemic. ‘Matisse: Life and Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris’, now showing at the Art Gallery of NSW, is an uplifting collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures which not only brings with it excitement, joy and optimism, but also is immediate in its nature.  “As these works have come out of their crates I’ve really had the feeling that the paintings are almost making themselves before your eyes … he’s not giving you a sealed off, finished, product”, Justin tells me in this podcast episode. “He’s showing you his thinking. He wants you to feel as though you’re looking over his shoulder as he revises, adjusts, amends a line, sands something back’. And this proximity to Matisse is not only felt in the works themselves, but in the way they are presented to us. His sculptures and paintings seem to talk to each other and the breathtaking space which evokes the artist's Chapel of the Rosary in Vence takes us a step closer to what he might have felt in the moments of its creation. The space is designed by renowned Australian architect Richard Johnson. Justin Paton is the head curator of international art at the Art Gallery of NSW, talks with me about the exhibition, from the early works from the Fauvist period and Matisse's time connecting with the Australian artist John Russell to the later cut-out works and how they came about. He also talks with me about the ‘Matisse Alive’ exhibition which he also curated. Justin is also an acclaimed writer and his books include ‘How to look at a painting’ (which was adapted into a TV series) and more recently  ‘McCahon Country’ about the works of the famous New Zealand painter Colin McCahon. To hear our conversation click on ‘play’ beneath the above photo. The exhibition ‘Matisse: Life and Spirit’ continues until 13 March 2022. You can buy tickets here. ‘Matisse Alive’ is a free exhibition and continues until 3 April 2022. Links * Justin Paton on Instagram* Matisse: Life and Spirit* John Russell* Chapel of the Rosary, Vence https://youtu.be/gl6DyqbCxg0 Justin Paton talks with Maria Stoljar about 'Matisse: Life and Spirit' Installation view of ‘Matisse: Life & Spirit Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris’ exhibitionPhoto © AGNSW, Mim Stirling Installation view of ‘Matisse: Life & Spirit Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris’ exhibitionPhoto © AGNSW, Mim Stirling
More Episodes
Most artists remember their first show. Maybe they were lucky enough to sell a few works, usually to family and friends. Daniel Boyd remembers his. It was in the year he graduated from university but family and friends didn’t stand a chance. The entire exhibition was bought by the National...
Published 07/03/22
Published 07/03/22
In 2010 Sam Leach won the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, two of Australia's most famous awards for portraiture and landscape painting, becoming only the third person in the prizes' history to win both in the same year. The two artists to achieve this rare distinction before him were 20th...
Published 06/13/22