‘I dream of nothing but making my colours sing, with no attention to rules and restrictions.’ Henri Matisse
As early as 1810, Goethe’s Theory of Colours analysed the optical and physiological mechanisms underpinning the chromatic spectrum, and anticipated a freer approach to painting through the use of pure colour and monochrome. For Henri Matisse, a century later, colour was synonymous with liberation. His paper cut-outs are a joyous, rhythmic celebration of colour that inspired innovation in the visual arts throughout the second half of the twentieth century.
The Adventure of Colour tells the story of colour in modern and contemporary art through a selection of flagship works from the Centre Pompidou’s collection, exploring the recurrent urge to explore and experiment with colour, both as a powerful vector of emotions and sensations, and as an infinitely rich support for reflections on the materiality and spirituality of the medium of painting.
Punctuated by sensitive, physical experiences, the exhibition invites visitors to discover a growing awareness of the incarnation of colour in art, from François Morellet’s blue-tinted neons to the pure pigments of Yves Klein.