24 Feb 2018
22 Jul 2019



‘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.

Henri Matisse, Icare , Centre Pompidou Paris, Musée national d’art moderne, 1947
Claude Rutault, D’où je viens où j’en suis où je vais, 2015
Maurice de Vlaminck, Les coteaux de Rueil, 1906
Bridget Riley, Red with Red Triptych, 2010
Jean Dewasne, Apothéose de Marat, 1951
Serge Poliakoff, Composition, 1968
 fermer Kenneth Noland, Air, 1964
Aurelie Nemours, Sans titre (Ligne), 1988-1990
General information

Centre Pompidou Metz
1 parvis des droits de l’homme – 57000 Metz
Tel Public : 03 87 15 39 39


Curatorship : Emma Lavigne, directrice du Centre Pompidou-Metz
Chargée de recherches et de coordination : Anne Horvath


Pénélope Ponchelet