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‘Matisse in the Studio’: the object as actor

Weekend-long practical course

Short courses

● Fully booked

  • 23 September 2017, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 24 September 2017, 10.30am — 5.30pm

Part of our

Matisse in the Studio

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Artist Gregory Ward leads a two-day oil painting course exploring the nature of the still life as seen within the context of the ‘Matisse in the Studio’ exhibition, studying the artist’s unique method of working with his collection of objects.

“To copy objects in a still life is nothing; one must render the emotion they awaken in him.”

Henri Matisse, Sarah Stein notes 1908

‘The object as actor’, is taken from a quote by Matisse and refers, in part, to the many roles that an object may inhabit within his work. In Matisse’s paintings and drawings, particular objects appear repeatedly and therefore evoke memories of previous work. The retained affection connected with the objects themselves resonate with past experiences of paintings, places and events. These “actors” hold an emotional value for the artist. It is this connection that Matisse valued; their familiarity allowed him to manipulate the shapes, colours, forms and spaces that the objects created, based on his still life set ups, exploring the various ‘personalities’ of the objects, allowing him to seek an equivalent energy by different means, to move from a hierarchical space to an afocal space, where all parts of the painting have an equal role.

This two-day course is an opportunity to explore the nature of the still life seen within the context of the exhibition Matisse in the Studio. Still-life painting as a genre has sometimes been less regarded as a subject matter, but it has proved to be an important vehicle for ideas by many artists in the past, and for many contemporary artists it is an important means of expression for those who work from direct observation.

During this intensive oil painting course, participants will work from direct observation from a specially constructed still life, initially exploring ideas about composition and simple structures within the painting. These will provide a platform to engage with various ideas about space and how we see it, how we think we see it and perhaps more importantly, how we want to paint about it. This will form the basis of the painting that participants will be making over the two days.

This course is set in the purpose-built Learning Studio at the Royal Academy in Burlington House.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 23 September 2017, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 24 September 2017, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Learning Studio, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

£480. Includes all materials, lunch and wine reception at the end of the second day.