Professor Ellen McBreen to speak at the Guggenheim in April

First Annual Robert Rosenblum Lecture
“I Paint the Differences Between Things:” Matisse, Photography, and African Sculpture
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Friday, April 22, 2011  6:30 pm

In late 1906, just weeks after Henri Matisse acquired his first African sculpture, he also began the first of several nudes based on erotic and ethnographic photographs. This lecture by Ellen McBreen, Assistant Professor at Wheaton College, Massachusetts, explores how Matisse negotiated the differences between the commercialized approach to the female body represented by his photographs, and the modernist belief that the body of African sculpture had origins untainted by the marketplace. Matisse’s early nudes suggest that modernist primitivism was not simply a stylistic revolution, but a critical discourse about how sexuality was to be consumed.