Category Archives: Sacred art

Matisse’s Masterpiece

Another highlight of Henri Matisse:  The Cut-Outs at MoMA was learning about Matisse’s work in the  Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, France.

Matisse was originally hired to design the stained glass windows, but eventually went on to design the chapel (working with the architect Auguste Perret) and its contents, including the Stations of the Cross, the alter linens, the priests’ vestments and the furniture.

Chapel of the Rosary

Chapel of the Rosary         Henri Matisse

Matisse said the chapel was “….the culmination of a life of work.”  He goes on to say, “Colours and lines are forces, and the secret of creation lies in the interaction of these forces and their balance.”

I think The Art Caravan will be planning a trip to Vence.  The show at MoMA brought me to tears.  I felt surrounded by joy, passion, and love for art and life.  To see Matisse’s work in a permanent installation, The Chapel of the Rosary, must be a very affirming experience.

If a trip to France isn’t in your immediate future, how about a trip to New York?  MoMA is offering Midnight with Matisse on December 31, to celebrate Matisse’s birthday, and the new year.  (Who needs the craziness of Times Square anyway?!)

Henri Matisse:  The Cut-Outs

From Alcatraz to Grace Cathedral….agony to ecstasy

I think I gasped  when we entered San Francisco’s  Grace Cathedral for a Sunday morning service.  I was expecting to enjoy ‘regular’ cathedral grandeur;  I didn’t know about the art installation.

Can you think of a better place to exclaim “OMG?”

There are nearly 20 miles (miles!) of ribbon suspended in the cathedral.  The artist, Anne Patterson, worked with the congregation to create this art work.  Some of the ribbons have prayers written on them.  Movement and heat from the congregation cause the ribbons to sway and shimmer.  I love how the idea of the spirit (in Latin, spiritus, the breath) is evident in this work.

The colours of the ribbons reflect the colours in the stained glass.  Those windows are worth a trip (and a couple of hours) alone!  And I haven’t even mentioned the sculptures. The church does have docents available, who are more than happy to talk about the art work in the cathedral.

Anne Patterson was the church’s Artist in Residence for 2013.  Because the installation is so popular with the congregation and visitors to the church, its showing has been extended to the end of 2014.

So now you HAVE to go to San Francisco.  There are worse things on your ‘To Do’ list, right?!