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Henri Matisse
Bathers with a Turtle
1907-08
Saint Louis Art Museum
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HOW DEEP IS HER OCEAN?
by Charlie Finch



In his New Yorker review of the Henri Matisse exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art, Peter Schjeldahl confesses a curmudgeonly affection for Blue Nude (Memories of Biskra), the 1907 painting featured in the show, observing that the work infuriated Picasso, who remarked churlishly that Matisse could "either paint a nude or do a design, he can't do both," a delicious bit of trapped spite from the one painter who tried to have it all in Cubism and beyond!

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