“If I were not making the paintings I make, I would paint like Matisse,” Pablo Picasso once said of his rival and dear friend, Henri Matisse. Both artists are featured in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s latest exhibition, Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels.
In the early twentieth century, the relationship between Picasso and Matisse had developed out of a nature of competitiveness and grew to be one of mutual admiration—at times. When Picasso came onto the European modern art scene, Matisse, being eleven years older, had already established himself as a rebel in that world. After meeting in 1906 at the Parisian salon of famous writer Gertrude Stein, the two artists would continuously look to one another’s work to both pose criticism and find inspiration.