'Matisse Picasso' Exhibit Pairs Masters of Art

Picasso's 'Nude in a Black Armchair'

Pablo Picasso's 'Nude in a Black Armchair'. 1932. Private Collection. © 2003 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. hide caption

itoggle caption Private Collection. © 2003 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Matisse's 'Large Reclining Nude (The Pink Nude)'

Henri Matisse's 'Large Reclining Nude (The Pink Nude)'. 1935. The Baltimore Museum of Art. The Cone Collection. © 2003 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. hide caption

itoggle caption The Baltimore Museum of Art. The Cone Collection. © 2003 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

A new exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art examines the lifelong relationship between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. It pairs works by the two artists, showing how they influenced each other despite their very different styles.

As David D'Arcy reports for Morning Edition: "From 1905 on the two were among the most valued and most collected painters alive. That would continue for 50 years. It wasn't that they competed — it was that, in the world of collectors and galleries, they couldn't avoid each other."

MoMA Curator Kirk Varnedoe says the artists' mutual admiration was mixed with envy.

But Pierre Schneider, who has written a definitive study of Matisse, says he hopes that those who attend Matisse Picasso look beyond the hyped rivalry between the artists. "When you read the catalog, the words 'rivalry' and 'competition' are a bit insulting to both of them, as if they spent their time reading the gossip columns that were written about them all along their careers," Schneider says.

The show will be at MoMA's Queens facility from today through May 19.

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