University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) Executive Dean Prof Federico Freschi was announced on Monday, 25 January 2016, as the South African co-curator of the exhibition Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning, to be held at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg from 13 July to 17 September 2016. This is the first time the work of the celebrated French modern master will be showcased on the African continent.
As co-curator, Prof Freschi together with Patrice Deparpe, Director of the Musée Matisse in Le Cateau Cambrésis, Matisse’s birthplace in the North of France, will ensure that the conceptualisation of the exhibition is uniquely comprehensive to the South Africa audience.
"Matisse’s work informed art across races and continents, and continues to do so. It is fundamental to understanding modern art," said Prof Freschi.
As part of the extensive education programme of the exhibition, students from the Faculty of Education, headed by Art and Design Lecturer Wilhelm van Rensburg, will produce and facilitate interactive workshops for learners and teachers giving them an opportunity to enhance their knowledge by interacting with Matisse’s work.
In addition, UJ Department of Multimedia students will create an App for the visitors to utilise for the duration of the exhibition.
The exhibition, comprising a selection of Matisse’s work from some of his earliest drawings and sculptures to some of the latest work produced before his death in 1954, will give South African audiences a unique opportunity to engage first-hand with the work of one of the most important masters of twentieth-century art.