Why Matisse repeated himself, and other stimulating questions at the Metropolitan Museum.

First Saturday night of the year for us at the Metropolitan Museum, great combo of the new Matisse exhibition and dinner upstairs, where I always sort of like being among the younger crowd in the room.

Sometimes, thematic exhibitions seem like smart ways to disguise the fact that you’re exploring not the master’s greatest hits, but leftovers hastily assembled and given some new shape.

In this case, however, the study of repetition in Matisse’s art, his way of reworking paintings in varying styles or emphases, was entirely satisfying and inspiring.  Like playing a familiar piece of music, or cooking a favorite dish, this idea made me think about the difference between repetition and improvisation, less copying, more jazz.

Having done nothing but tweet for weeks, I am suddenly tongue tied and frozen in the realm of 140+ characters and so I’ll scoot out now, lest I swoon under the pressure to articulate on an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning.