Agnès Thurnauer. Cher Henri,

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This book brings together fifty letters written by Agnès Thurnauer to Henri Matisse. 


This book brings together fifty letters written by Agnès Thurnauer between April 2021 and January 2022 and addressed to Henri Matisse, after a first visit to the museum. In these writings, Agnès Thurnauer questions several notions that are fundamental to her, in particular the question of the "states" of painting that Matisse recorded by having his paintings photographed throughout their creation.

In Agnès Thurnauer's work, the relationship between writing and painting, between language and form, often leads to an echo of the horizontal and vertical planes. The artist is also an avid reader and the book is often the first place in her paintings. This attachment resonates particularly with the work of Henri Matisse and his conception of the book as an architectural space that breaks down hierarchies and artistic genres. It is no coincidence that in the early 1930s he undertook the production of his first illustrated book, Poésies de Mallarmé, at the same time as the gigantic construction of La Danse, a mural decoration for the Barnes Foundation, for which he displayed, on a real scale, preparatory gouache cuts on the wall of a garage rented for the occasion. It is with the same impetus that he invests the white page, its modest format not preventing him from thinking of the book as an architectonic. For the man who said that he did not "make any difference between the construction of a book and that of a painting", it was never a question of accompanying the texts with illustrations but of creating a plastic equivalent to the writing.


Data sheet

Number of pages
144 pages
21,5 x 28 cm
Paper back
Publication date

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