Matisse School of Dance
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut. Gift of the Estate of George Deem. Accession Number 2013.54.72
| Image Notes
Inscribed by the artist on the reverse.
References: See Artist's Notes.
In George Deem's Matisse School of Dance, 1994, Matisse's flattened figures have come off the canvas, entering the three-dimensional illusionistic space of a "real" room, reflected in a "real" mirror. The devices of self-quoting once used by Matisse are ironically re-actualized. Significantly...Deem (has) chosen to explore the issue of space and dimension in a subject noted for its assertion of the canvas's flatness. (Franklin Hill Perrell, Dance, Dance, Dance, catalogue of an exhibition of the same name, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, 2000).
| Artist's Notes
Matisse School of Dance, 1994. The wall and floor to the left, the mirror, and the folding screen are quoted from Matisse's Interior with Aubergines, 1911, Musée de Grenoble, formerly in the collection of Michael and Sarah Stein.
The goldfish bowl on the table is from Interior with Goldfish, 1914, Musée National d'Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
The nude dancers in a circle are from Dance, 1910, The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg.
The woman seated on a high stool quotes Woman on a High Stool (Germaine Raynal), 1914, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The etching in a frame on the wall behind the folding screen is from a series of etchings done by Matisse as illustrations for the book Poetry of Stephane Mallarme, published in Lausanne by Albert Skira, 1932. The etchings are in the Cone Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art.
The mirror on the right is not a quotation from Matisse. Nor are the dancing figures reflected in the two mirrors. The view through a window that is reflected in the mirror on the right refers, however, to two paintings by Matisse: Interior with Goldfish Bowl, 1914, and The Painter in His Studio, 1916, These two paintings were done by Matisse in his studio on the quai Saint-Michel in Paris, as was Woman on a High Stool (Germaine Raynal), 1914.
The orange dance barre attached to the wall behind the teacher seated on a high stool is not quoted from Matisse. Nor is the wood floor I have provided for the dancers. This painting draws on my experience of dance studios in New York in the 1960s when I studied dance with, and performed in the companies of, Mary Anthony, Paul Sanasardo, and Jeff Duncan. At that time the floor in many dance studios was covered with linoleum, and although in my painting I gave the dancers a wood floor it is a floor in part covered with linoleum in a blue-flowered pattern. The table holding a still life of aubergines in Matisse's Interior with Aubergines had to go to make room for the dancers in my Matisse School of Dance. I kept the folding screen however. Such screens are important in a dance studio. They afford the dancers a bit of space behind the screen in which to undress before class and afterwards to dress for the street again. (George Deem, New York, May 15th 2000).
The Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York
Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada
Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York
Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York
Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut