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Episode 59
"Matisse: The Red Studio" with Ann Temkin - The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA

  • 24 min read

Episode Description

A conversation with Ann Temkin, the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Our conversation focuses on MoMA’s current exhibit “Matisse: The Red Studio” which revolves around the iconic painting of the same name that has been an integral part of MoMA’s collection since 1949. Ann spent more than four years researching, writing about and compiling the exhibit which features the Matisse artworks seen on the walls and tabletops of the studio in the painting. We discuss the work’s historical context, its significance, the secrets it holds and the hunt for all of the works in the scene.

Transcript

Craig: [00:00:10] This is Art Sense, a podcast focused on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. On today's episode, I speak with Ann Temkin, the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Our conversation focuses on MoMA's current exhibit "Matisse: The Red Studio", which revolves around the iconic painting of the same name that's been an integral part of MoMA's collection since 1949 and spent more than four years researching, writing about and compiling the exhibit, which features the Matisse artworks seen on the walls and tabletops of the studio and the painting. We discussed the work's historical context, its significance, the secrets it holds, and the hunt for all of the works in the scene. And now a closer examination of the Red Studio with Ann Temkin.

Craig: [00:01:21] So Ann Temkin, thank you so much for joining me today on the Art Sense podcast. Ann, you're the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And you have put together an exhibit around Henri Matisse's "The Red Studio", and I have so many questions about this amazing exhibit, but maybe we can start with the idea for the exhibit and all the parts that had to come together. When did you first start working on this project?

Ann: [00:01:55] Working on it? Well, I can trace the time I made the exhibition proposal, which of course, is a little after you've been working on it a bit to test it out. But that was the Spring of 2018, so that would put a four year preparation time, which is fairly standard here at MoMA.

Craig: [00:02:17] Maybe a listener is familiar with Matisse, but isn't familiar with this particular work for whatever reason. But for someone who's not familiar with the piece, can you kind of describe it because it's a colorful painting with a colorful past and lots of connections, right?

Ann: [00:02:35] Yeah. And the kind of tension in the appearance of the painting, I think, is partly what has made it so powerful over the decades. On the one hand, it's a quite straightforward portrayal of Matisse's studio in 1911, but that doesn't mean that it's full of easels and paint boxes and so forth. It's actually really focusing on the works by him that he displayed in the studio. As he was working on whatever was new. So although it's a studio picture, in a way, it almost looks more like a painting of an exhibition. And that's why it seemed very obvious to make an exhibition out of that exhibition to sort of create in real life 100 and whatever it is, 12 years later, that exact room. So on the one hand, in other words, very much a representation of where he truly did his work. However, it also has this nearly all over layer of red paint that leaves nothing exposed except the works of art by Matisse and various other knick-knacks in the room, like some pottery, for example. So that turns it into a very abstract painting. Over two thirds of the surface area of the canvas is just this red color, with the paintings and sculptures kind of popping out of this giant field of red. So that feels like a very imaginary space. So you have in front of your eyes this kind of simultaneously imaginary and very documentary depiction of Matisse's studio. And I think that sort of almost tightrope that he's walking between those two things is what gives so much of the fascination of this picture it's power.

Craig: [00:04:51] Yeah. And, you know, I think that's that's interesting. You know, you talk about the tightrope. I think one of the most fascinating things about studying works like this is better understanding the context of the time in which they are created, right? And I saw that this painting was first shown in 1912 at the second post-Impressionist exhibition and then again in London. Right. And then again at the International Exhibition of Modern Art, which we refer to now as the Armory Show, which is just known for being such a groundbreaking exhibit. So I feel like that's really indicative of how he was creating work right there on the cusp of post-impressionism versus modern, right?

Ann: [00:05:34] Yes. I mean, that first decade of the 20th century and let's let's be generous and include 1911, you know, the the practicality of the work, not only of Matisse, but pick who you want, Picasso, Kandinsky, so forth, really redefining painting at that time. And so much of what artists do at any period in history, in any place, is kind of energize each other and sort of push each other to new experimentation levels because they see what their peers are doing. And this you feel in this painting, I think even without necessarily knowing those historical facts, that here was someone who was really testing right here was someone who was going beyond his own comfort zone. And a large part of the reason he was doing that is because so many of his peers were doing it, too.

Craig: [00:06:41] I've always read about what a watershed event the 1913 Armory Show was, but I never realized that the show actually also traveled to Chicago and Boston. I don't know why I had that that gap on my mind.

Ann: [00:06:54] And New York grabs the headlines. Yeah.

Craig: [00:06:58] And I guess maybe it's because, you know, I've always, always thought of it as being the Armory Show, right? And I guess it wasn't actually the name it was given, right? But but I was really surprised to read how strongly the students at the Art Institute of Chicago objected to Matisse's contributions. I mean, would Matisse have anticipated the level of blowback that he got there?

Ann: [00:07:22] He was used to that from Paris already, actually. In fact, Guillaume Apollinaire, this wonderful poet and art critic of his time in 1910, the year before Matisse made the red studio in one of his articles, he called Matisse among the most disparaged artists of our time. And in fact, art critics were really nasty back then. And so at these various shows that Matisse and other artists would have been presenting their works at in from like 1900 on, you know, the reactions were incredibly hostile and extremely insulting, to say the least. So for Matisse to encounter that again in the United States was, in fact, not new. And it was against this backdrop of a sort of widespread bafflement about what he was doing, that he especially relied on just a handful of very fervent collectors.

Craig: [00:08:32] Right.

Ann: [00:08:33] Who are the ones who gave him the kind of strength he needed to believe in what he was doing? Because, you know, you just need a few hardcore champions, I think. But that was they were all exceptions to the general rule. And as you say, that hostility in Chicago where the students actually first they wanted to make an effigy of Matisse himself.

Craig: [00:08:59] Right.

Ann: [00:09:00] And burn it. And then I think they decided that was way too much. And they made effigies of three of his paintings, not including "The Red Studio", actually, right? And burned those, you know, which is like that's intense.

Craig: [00:09:14] Yeah. I believe they had like a mock trial and somebody was sitting in for Harry Hair-mattress or, I mean, it was it was it was a whole production. People were were fainting at the sight of these these fake mattresses. And it sounds really colorful.

Ann: [00:09:32] I mean, what it proves, which resonates with so much today, in fact, is that visual art. Has at stake a lot more. Then artistic issues. People would not get so upset if pictures were just looking ugly or looking kind of illegible to them. That level of upset extends to. Okay. What is it about my norms that your paintings are questioning it? What is it about my values, my expectations, my habits, my prejudices? Right? That it has to be that deep. Otherwise there's no way. That these things would be that upsetting. And 110 years ago was just as much a time of change as right now. So all of those things that were in the air about how society was changing almost get loaded onto what it is that the artists were saying and doing and in ways that go far, far, far beyond anything that Matisse himself was intending or expressing.

Craig: [00:10:46] You mentioned how this core group of collectors, which was really a small handful, and you could you could almost say one or two collectors that were really fervent about Matisse's work and willing to give him the latitude to explore these things. Can you talk about the importance of Sergei Shchukin in the career of Henri Matisse specifically?

Ann: [00:11:11] Yeah. So Sergei Shchukin was his single most important patron. He was a Moscow textile magnate, and he met Matisse for the first time in 1906. So this was once the two of them had known each other for five years. He owned nearly 40 Matisse's by the time of World War One when his collection collecting had to stop. So in a seven or eight year period, he built up certainly the best Matisse collection at the time and the best Picasso collection at the time as well. And this was a Russian who came to Paris all the time, kept up very closely with events, and was determined to turn Moscow into an avant garde city. And with his collection, he actually opened it to the public on Sundays so that the Russian public, in a way, had access to what essentially was a museum of modern art. You know, 25 years before this Museum of Modern Art. Was founded, right? Or what would I say, 20 years before this Museum of Modern Art was founded? So the level of audacity in what he did was amazing. And what was extremely specific about his relationship with Matisse, unlike any of his other artists, is he commissioned paintings for specific locations in his palace. And so there were these requests, "I need something x meters by y meters. It's going to go in a place opposite the window or it's going to go above the staircase." And so Matisse painted "The Red Studio" as part of one of those commissions. It was an explicit request for a trio of paintings on any subject that Matisse wanted. And the subject he chose was his studio. So he did a first painting now known as "The Pink Studio", which you can loved. But then when he wrote and told him about the red studio, Shchukin said, "No, thank you". So his commissions were not binding. So there was Matisse. He painted this thing he thought he had committed. And then, oops, I guess not. So the third painting of the trio never came to be. And here was Matisse with this painting that he had to figure out what to do with.

Craig: [00:13:41] It's funny when, you know, when I read the catalog that you produced to go along with the exhibit, one of the items that is part of the exhibit in the catalog is this watercolor that Matisse created to show Shchukin kind of a representation of what he had done, because I believe Matisse was like even on vacation when he received the letter saying, "hey, what does it look like?" Right. And, you know, he he kind of provided shorthand for these items. A) the walls really didn't convey this whole Venetian red and B) the shorthand for the figurative paintings on the wall was so loose that I don't know if you can even realize that they were figurative works. Right?

Ann: [00:14:25] I agree with you. Yeah. That watercolor was so summery, right? That it kind of wasn't a fair basis for seeking to make a decision on. But he did. You know, that's what that's what he had asked for. And he had done that before asking for little sketches. But this this picture was so radical, it was just impossible to translate it into a watercolor.

Craig: [00:14:50] You know, it's interesting to think about what was going through Matisse's head when he decides to cover all of that negative space with the red. But it's not the first time that he had done that for a commission for Shchukin. Right? Can you talk about Harmony and Red, which is a different painting? Does Matisse's correspondence with Shchukin regarding that painting shed some light on his thought process? How are these two paintings, "The Harmony in Red" and "The Red Studio" interrelated?

Ann: [00:15:23] They are almost like grandparent and grandchild, in my mind. And in fact, Schukin called "Harmony in Red" "The Red Room". And a lot of people today call "The Red Studio" either "The Red Studio" or "The Red Room". So they're actually really connected, almost confused in the public's mind often. And that has a completely good reason in that, number one, they're both the exact same size that when Shchukin gave the commission for what would become "The Red Studio", he specifically said, "Make the painting the same size as "The Red Room". And as you say, "The Red Room" started out, believe it or not, as "The Blue Room". It was to go in Shchukin's dining room. And Shchukin's dining room at that time was filled with Gauguin's paintings. And you can wrote to Matisse. This is in 1908, three years before "The Red Studio" was painted saying, "Oh, I want a picture in blue. That'll go really well with all those Gauguins". And so Matisse obliges. And then he writes him in the summer of 1908 as he's working on it. "Oh, you know what? The blue painting has become a red painting because this is this is how it went. And in that case, Schukin was delighted. He was totally thrilled with the product and did not at all regret the switch. But so it's very moving to me that as three some years later, Matisse is making "The Red Studio", the grandchild of "The Red Studio" or "Harmony in Red". He, even this at a very unconscious level, has a precedent for making a switch in his in the direction he's taking with the painting. And for me, that's really, really huge that when he feels the ability or the confidence to do that with The Red Studio", it's like, well, that worked once before. With a painting to which this has a direct connection. You know, that's that's a good piece of evidence that it's worth giving. This crazy idea, you've got to try.

Craig: [00:17:55] And I guess another Matisse painting, the pink studio is is also closely related in many, many ways, right?

Ann: [00:18:03] Yes. So "The Pink Studio" is the one that Matisse made first, also the same size as "Harmony in Red" in this trio that Schukin wanted in 1911. And "The Pink Studio" is more naturalistic, more of a realistic description of the studio than "The Red Studio". And it's almost as if you're able to see in "The Pink Studio" something closer to the version of "The Red Studio" that Matisse made first. You know, our conservation scientists and our conservators have been able to use X-rays and infrared and so forth to see that composition that's under what we see today as the painting. And they find something that's much more descriptive in the spirit of "The Pink Studio", but then encouraged by that taste for experimentation that he has. Matisse says to himself, "You know, I'm sure it was a beautiful painting". That's me, not Matisse. But I think. There's something, you know, I can push this farther. I can push this in a direction that I haven't tried before. And so in the end, "The Pink Studio" and "The Red Studio", even though they are the exact same size, even though they describe the same room, the red studio is a view that's a little to the side of the view of "The Pink Studio", but they're overlapping in a certain area. So you actually see a few of the things in "The Pink Studio" and "The Red Studio" both. However, the feeling of the two paintings is so, so different because "The Pink Studio", you feel you could still imagine. Oh, yeah, I'd be standing in this room, I'd be over here, you know. Whereas with "The Red Studio", with that layer of Venetian Red, all of the sense of background and foreground and kind of measured space is transformed into this much more imaginary space.

Craig: [00:20:14] Again, you've provided a lot of background about the particular studio in the exhibit. What precipitated the move to the suburbs, the construction of the studio. And, you know, one of the things that I think is interesting is that this studio in Issy-les-Molineaux, it seems like from what we can see from historical photos, that the wood interior of the studio is kind of an unfinished raw wood color. But what we found in the colors underneath the red studio is that he kind of assigned like a pink tone to the floor and a blue tone to the wall, which I guess as an artist you would think of theory, warm colors coming forward and blue receding. And it's almost like that could be an some sort of exploration of creating depth, but maybe it created too much conflict and the red over the entire negative space, flattens all that and allows the artwork to pop versus being in conflict with all of this. But we don't have that level of detail as to precisely what precipitated his choice. Right?

Ann: [00:21:27] No, we don't. So that will be forever a mystery in my mind. Like, was it something that he thought about for days or even weeks? Or was it something where he walked into the studio one morning and saw "The Red Studio" in its initial version, said, "You know what, I'm going to grab these tubes of Venetian Red". Like we'll never know. What we do know from our conservators is that the red layer got painted very quickly so that once he did it and there was no going back because it's not like you can erase oil paint. Once he took the plunge, he just did it. And then I think he probably stepped back and asked himself, "Wow, what did I do?" Right.

Craig: [00:22:17] So I saw, it was another surprise to me, was that when the work was shown at the Armory Show, I saw a photo of it hanging in Chicago. And right next to it were two of the pieces that are in "The Red Studio" like looks to in Marguerite with Black Cat, which is really kind of funny because that's very self-referential. But it I guess it provided a sense of scale for "The Red Studio", right?

Ann: [00:22:55] Right. That's true. I mean, you know, you have to wonder a little bit if those viewers were even if they had the eye at that point, to recognize abstract art in such a way as to even have identified the. Oh, wow. This picture hanging right next to it is depicted in that painting, because it would have just been such a new kind of style for anybody at the Armory Show, Matisse's current work. But what's kind of incredible to think about in that regard is that, yes, as visitors were able to view literally every work that was hanging on the wall in "The Red Studio" at the same time as they were viewing "The Red Studio" in The Armory Show in the United States. They well, first of all, the scene had been taken apart. Right? Matisse sent "The Red Studio" away from the studio, but he also sent its contents away. So, like, that moment was now forever gone.

Craig: [00:24:06] Mm hmm.

Ann: [00:24:07] But by sending all of that work to the United States, it was almost like this perfect crash course for viewers in what it was Matisse was setting out to do. If they would have had. The ability to kind of perceive that. But it was really beyond them at that point. You know, no Matisse paintings at all that were on sale in the Armory Show sold. Duchamp painting sold. The "Nude Descending the Staircase" famously sold, Picasso painting sold and so forth. And Matisse was among the artists who just people couldn't get it yet because they couldn't see how color without line, without depth, without all of these kind of perspectival cues that even cubism still had. It was, I would say, perplexing. Whereas what we look at today, we see it as beautiful, right?

Craig: [00:25:10] I wrote down a line from the catalog that I thought was beautifully referencing that which was, "it was a leap from painting a depiction of decorative art to the painting itself as decorative."

Ann: [00:25:24] Right.

Craig: [00:25:25] Which was a real change. And I often talk about how, with the advent of photography, painting was able to lose its day job of the depiction. Right? And so I think it was a matter of of pushing up against that boundary, right?

Ann: [00:25:42] And the public was just not quite there yet. The artists were there. We have cameras, we can record our surroundings. That's not our job anymore. But the public, for the most part, wanted to look at a painting and know that if they saw the representation of a human being, for example, if then they saw that human being across the street, they would say, "Oh yeah, that's who that is". But for Matisse, that was not a primary concern. His concern was expressing some kind of deep feeling about that person through color, through line, through space, and any sort of realistic, quote unquote description was not the point. As you say that the photograph could do more. It was like, what is this? What is this artistic feeling that I have in painting this whomever or whatever?

Craig: [00:26:44] So the painting goes on sold. And I think it has an interesting life before leading up to this, this kind of seminal moment when the Museum of Modern Art kind of calls an emergency meeting to take advantage of the opportunity that that it's come up for sale in 1949. But it actually spent some time in a Gatsby-era nightclub wall. Right?

Ann: [00:27:09] Yeah, it's in London.

Craig: [00:27:11] So can you talk a little bit about how the painting went from being turned down by Shchukin to the point where it was viewed as such an amazing opportunity? By the time MoMA found out that it was coming up for availability and I had a conversation with the artist the other day where we were talking about this same thing, where the object hasn't changed, but but the utility or the perception of the object greatly changes between those two points, right?

Ann: [00:27:45] Yeah. Yeah. And that is that is true of all the arts, right? It's so fascinating how certain works almost have to wait for their audiences. And it's often the most innovative works that do because it's like the artist and that work are ahead of the public's ability to comprehend it. And it's that the things that happen afterwards almost end up teaching the public how to see that work or how to hear or read that work that had been made maybe 20, 30 or 40 years earlier. But it's sort of like that the logical evolution from what had happened before gives us new eyes. So, for example, when Matisse painted "The Red Studio", there was no such thing in Western painting as a monochrome, you know, there was no Brice Marden, there was no Bob Reimann, there was no Agnes Martin, there was no Barnett Newman where you would just have a giant field of color, right? Purely abstract. But by the time the middle of the century came around and maybe none of those people I mentioned just now, but in the meantime, people like Malevich or Rodchenko or other artists who used pure abstract color fields in their work, you know, that that had taken place. Even surrealist artists like Miro had many paintings that were just a few lines on what were essentially big fields of solid color. And so people's eyes were educated, even if they hadn't seen those works in person. You know, the history of art had taken these steps that then retroactively make a viewer be able to look at "The Red Studio". A few decades later and say, "Oh, I see, that's a studio. Those are paintings on the wall, you know, etc.. Those are pieces of furniture, even though they're solid red."

Craig: [00:30:00] Sure.

Ann: [00:30:01] But it's really interesting to me to see like the way in which time. Becomes an ingredient in the painting. Right? It's almost like the alarm goes off and the painting becomes itself.

Craig: [00:30:19] Right. There is time in the painting. There's a grandfather clock. But that has no. 

Ann: [00:30:24] True.

Craig: [00:30:24] But there are no hands. So it's out of time.

Ann: [00:30:28] Yeah.

Craig: [00:30:29] But so, you know, the beauty of this exhibit that you've been working so hard over the last four years is actually pulling together the objects that we see in the studio. And so were the majority of those items easy to track down? I mean, did we did we know the whereabouts of most of them already? I mean, was it pretty general knowledge?

Ann: [00:30:56] Most of them, but not all of them. So there are a few things in this show that truly have never been seen before in public or haven't been seen in over 50 years. But then there are other things that we borrowed, for example, from the Metropolitan just up Fifth Avenue. We did the exhibition in cooperation with the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen and my colleague Théodore Augustin, because they happen to own three of the paintings that are portrayed in "The Red Studio".

Craig: [00:31:29] Wow.

Ann: [00:31:30] And then there are a couple of more museum pictures, but then a certain number of private collections that own the paintings or the sculptures. And that was a lot of detective work. This was definitely among the most detective work oriented shows I've done, because think about it. Most shows you do if you don't find exactly this thing, you choose some other thing, right? If that is a dead trail. Okay, you go look for something else. Whereas this show, there was no option. We had to get each of the exact things that's in the picture or there was no show.

Craig: [00:32:07] So were the sculptures the most difficult to find? Or What was it?

Ann: [00:32:13] So for example, the little terracotta nude, "Upright Nude With Raised Arms" that we knew we could borrow in bronze because he made all of or most of his clay figures ultimately into bronzes by casting, casting them in plaster and then sending them to a foundry. But the little terracotta itself had never been shown. And we had no idea where that might be. And really quite far along in the planning of the show, our colleagues at the Archives Matisse in France, wrote us with really great news that it had been discovered. Among some property of the family. And that was kind of a wonderful moment of good news, bad news. The good news is that we found it. The bad news is that it no longer has a head or forearms. But we we knew it would be fine, because if you think about antique.

Craig: [00:33:27] Sure.

Ann: [00:33:27] Sculpture that's missing an arm or missing a leg. So much of the force of the artist's work is just in the figure overall and it doesn't have to do with this or that fragment that might be missing actually being any problem. So that was a triumph. There was another painting, "The Cyclamen Still Life", which is a painting that had been in private hands in Paris and had not been seen in public since 1965.

Craig: [00:34:01] Wow.

Ann: [00:34:02] And again, with the help of the people at the Matisse archive, we were able to find it. So those sort of things are intermixed with the very obvious loans. And I think it's important because...it, besides just the interest of the process, what it says is that this is a painting that Matisse made. Of major works of his, but also not so major works, right? So this wasn't some kind of retrospective that someone like me would have curated. Let me pick out the most significant, the most kind of historically representative of the decade prior to "The Red Studio" or something that he was assembling as if he were a curator. No, these were the things he had in the studio around him. And some of them were more intimate, some of them were more showy. Some of them were still some of them were portraits, etc.. But it wasn't it wasn't a display. With some kind of message to advertise. It was, for me, a much more personal...say,"Now, these are the things I'm keeping around me right now as I'm doing whatever new works I'm painting in the studio". And I think that's part of the for me, magical part of bringing them together. Now that you realize that in the studio there's this an artist doesn't make the same distinction between important and not important that a museum might do or that an art historian might make. Right? It's much more the relationships among those different kinds of works plasters, clays, bronzes, paintings, drawings, big works, little works that kind of makes up the reality of what they do. And in museums we somehow tend maybe to dry that out.

Craig: [00:36:15] I found it interesting that one of the largest works on the wall of the painting is this large nude that no longer exists because Matisse's son destroyed it, which sounds terrible at first glance, but it's I don't think it's uncommon. I mean, I remember seeing a documentary about Agnes Martin where, you know, she was on her deathbed and was asking a friend of hers who is an artist to go to the studio and destroy everything that wasn't finished in. And I guess, you know, that's the same thing with this particular painting. He told his son that he didn't consider it finished, so he didn't want it to make it to the general public. Right? I just found that really interesting, that such a large part of the composition is the one painting that really doesn't exist anymore.

Ann: [00:37:12] Right. It's almost like a subplot within our whole story that utterly enthralled us, because if you look at it in the painting, as you say, it's the biggest one and it absolutely figures prominently in Matisse's mind at that time. We know not only because of "The Red Studio", but there are just a few photographs of the studio from that moment, and it's in all of them.

Craig: [00:37:39] Hmm.

Ann: [00:37:40] So, in fact, there is a photo of his family, his wife and three kids from a few years later, and he poses them all in front of that painting. So that painting wasn't like a mistake from the start or something that was unimportant so he sort of never thought about it again, never showed it, never sold it. It was clearly very meaningful to him at the time "The Red Studio" was painted. It was brand new when the studio was painted. It was just painted a few weeks before it was. So the idea of how over the course of the next 40 years, before Matisse's death in 1954, somehow he grew dissatisfied with it, or he felt it never had been totally resolved. For me, that's just another very intimate kind of window into how artists think about their own work and change their minds, or never come to a conclusion on something. And it's very believable to me. That later in his life Matisse would not have wanted to take a chance that something he didn't feel 100% resolved about was going to have a public life.

Craig: [00:39:06] Right. You know, from an art historical perspective, it's probably the piece. If I were an art historian, I would have the most interest in because it really sounds like it provided some sort of spark for him in that he found something in the process of doing that painting that led to how his work changed regardless of whether it was finished. Right?

Ann: [00:39:34] Yeah.

Craig: [00:39:35] And so that's the sort of you know, those are the sort of pieces which, you know, it's almost the same way. We talk about the read studio in itself. Those are the sort of pieces where where you see someone take a left or take a right that like you were saying that museums like to place importance on and you know, regardless of it being finished or not, it was probably an important piece to telling his story, right?

Ann: [00:40:02] Yes. And I think that also I mean, it just points to such a bigger issue like so many. You know, seemingly particular items do, which is how much of artists careers. Are made up of trial and error. That doesn't necessarily always go the. It works way, right? And if you're really an experimental artist, by definition, you're going to have works. That don't go. The way you expected or wanted or hoped for. And again, that's something art history tends to write out. You know, we write about the successes, but making great art in any field is inevitably one that's full of, if not outright failures. And I would say that it is. But also just things that are sort of not quite right. Not really what the artist meant or hoped would happen. And you just go on know it's still just as important to have that thing. They're to lead you to whatever comes next. And oftentimes those things that today are considered not successes with a necessary step to wherever the artist's thinking was going. So I really do love it. I mean, we were obsessed by this painting when we were working on the show. I love it that "The Red Studio" includes the portrayal of artistic...I think failure is too strong a term but the non the non happy ending as well as happy endings. So here's a painting that's in the Metropolitan and here's a painting that's in the Pompidou. Whatever. Yeah.

Craig: [00:41:58] Well, you know, what's what's interesting is I saw a story recently about how a group had been using AI to provide color back into a number of Gustav Klimt's that were destroyed during World War II. And those.

Ann: [00:42:15] Oh, I didn't read this.

Craig: [00:42:16] And the works had been photographed. But all that we were left with were black and white versions. And we do have a black and white version of this painting, and we do have Matisse's colors in "The Red Studio". Right? Then it becomes a question of what was the artist's intent? He really didn't want us to kind of belabor or dwell on on this particular painting, or he wouldn't have asked for it to be destroyed. But it would be interesting to have eye color eyes that that high resolution black and white photo that we have, but.

Ann: [00:42:49] Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Craig: [00:42:51] Ann how how much longer is the show open?

Ann: [00:42:55] It's just a little more than a month. It closes on Saturday, September 10th.

Craig: [00:42:59] And if folks were interested in learning more about about the show or following MoMA, where is the best place for someone to get information, interact, engage and follow you guys?

Ann: [00:43:16] So MoMA.org is the right place and there are several videos, articles, an excerpt from the catalog and other related content for this exhibition on the website. Just really easy to access.

Craig: [00:43:34] And I cannot thank you enough for the generosity of your time. And this painting has such a rich history and just so many stories to tell, and I appreciate you taking time to help tell some of those.

Ann: [00:43:48] Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Craig: [00:43:57] That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to artisans. You can find the show on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rate the show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. And if you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read the transcript and find other bonus features. You can go to canvia.art and click on the podcast tab. If you'd like to reach out to me, you can email me at craig@canvia.art. Thanks for listening.

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