Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 9, 2012

Matisse at GoMA

Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art is currently showing the most comprehensive exhibition of Henri Matisse’s prints and drawings ever mounted. There are more than 300 drawings, prints and illustrated books by Matisse, one of the 20th century’s greatest artists.
It was not appropriate to take photos of the actual art pieces, but I certainly took my camera out for The Drawing Room, the wonderful space in GoMA’s Long Gallery where visitors can participate and create their own art. The area has been set up with beautiful still-life tableaux, models and music, perhaps just like a studio Matisse might have worked in.


The Long Gallery.



As well as the usual drawing things like paper and pencils, there are more technical offerings.


It is possible to sketch something and then send it to yourself.




A budding artist.

There are lots of beautiful things to draw.














There are photos from Matisse’s life.











The Long Gallery is very popular.




There are quiet places to sit.


And nice things to eat.


The exhibition is on until 4th March 2012. If you are in Brisbane, don’t miss it.



And perhaps try you hand at creating your own art.


  1. I must go in and see this exhibition Debra. What a creative and special thing to do…….drawing dans le gallerie long. GOMA is one of Australia’s loveliest galleries…bravo GOMA. And bravo Matisse…a master of elegant line and luminous colour. Have you visited Le Matisse Musee in Nice? Just divine!

    • The exhibition is lovely, and what the gallery has done is brilliant. I will look for the museum in Nice.

  2. Oh gosh, that is my type of day. Lucky you! Loved the close-up shots of the B&W photos of Matisse working. I was a little gob smacked by the iPads on easels … I feel so behind the times 🙂 I think I’d still prefer paper and a pencil.

    • It is a great way to spend a few hours. I have been twice.

  3. Wow, a drawing room that really is a room for drawing! Creative and wonderful, brilliant GoMA!

    • GoMA does a wonderful job. We are very lucky.

  4. What an amazing gallery! :O So inspiring and a lovely way to spend a day 🙂

    • You should come to Brisbane.

  5. Will go – of course , but maybe wont try my hand at art myself. Thanks do love Matisse.

    Dianne Cant

    • Di – a lady of such great style such as yourself would certainly be able to create a beautiful work. The will to do…the soul to dare! Just let that pencil/pen/crayon flow!

  6. Thats interesting! The cappuccino looks really good! And I love the photo of the violin player, just a perfect setting.

    • The whole area beside the exhibition is beautiful.

  7. What a beautiful, light, inviting place. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a museum/gallery that felt quite like this one…one could spend hours and hours there. I love the photos of the artist in his studio…those always fascinate me.

    • It is a beautiful gallery, we are very lucky. They do the best exhibitions. The Valentino exhibition was fabulous.

  8. What a lovely idea… the only thing better than looking at art is creating it!

    • I think it is a great idea to encourage people to participate.

  9. Gorgeous post. I really enjoyed this one Debra 🙂 I saw a vast Matisse exhibition in the 90s which started in New York at MOMA and I think ended up in Europe but this one looks different again. I love the way that the craft of setting up exhibitions has changed. Those photos of Matisse in his painting coat are something, the painter as doctor, with just a touch of Freud about him too. Quite fascinating. Is there a book to go with the show?

  10. The works were brought together from international, national and private collections. The drawings were lovely and there were books the artist had put together over the course of his life.
    I think there is a book of the exhibition. I can go back and have a look. There were a lot of lovely things in the bookshop.

  11. […] the original: Matisse at GoMA « Bagni di Lucca and Beyond This entry was posted in Lucca and tagged currently-showing, drawings-ever, gallery, henri, […]

  12. Your Gallery of Modern Art has the most amazing exhibitions. Very envious. I love the ‘Drawing Room’. Such a clever idea- the ipads on the easals seem to be a winner. What a great way to encourage children and adults to the gallery

    • I think it is great that the exhibitions are child friendly. It is an excellent way to introduce children to art galleries and hopefully keep them coming back for life.

  13. Oh dear Debra, how fascinated me this place… This is such a beautiful idea and creative place… so inspirational too… I admire so much art world and creative minds… Thank you dear, how nice of you that you share with us. Have a nice day and weekend, with my love, nia

    • I think GoMA is exceptional in its ideas.

  14. That’s clearly the best kind of “drawing room” to have. I absolutely love the idea! I wonder if any museums are doing something similar around here.

    Fascinating post, Deb!


    • GoMA often does interactive stuff. It’s great.

  15. What a great concept! I love the idea of the Drawing Room – I also quite like the idea of drawing on an iPad… Think of all the paper I’d save every time I made a stuff-up 😉

    • The iPad idea is fabulous.

  16. You have such an eye for detail! I love the pencils in the pottery jar and the contrast of the iPad easel. Thanks for sharing such a unique event and space.

    • I love all the details.

  17. Thanks Debra for those wonderful photos, extraordinarily beautiful. I’m coming to Brisbane again on 26 Jan. for a few days. Will try to fit it in. I’m enjoying working on my website – such a learning experience. Thanks for your encouragement. Jen’s posting on her Blog too. Dianne L.

    • I’m sure you will love the exhibition, and coffee in the Drawing Room is fun.

  18. I live in Brisbane, am a proud Member of the QAG Foundation and quickly purchased a Season Ticket to the magnificent Matisse Exhibition.
    I am gradually working my way through the hundreds of drawings, paintings, modern technoly and at the end, the Splendid Drawing Room where photographs are permitted.
    I will be surprised if yet another attendance recpord is not recorded by GoMA before the Exhibition concludes in March; we Brisbaneites are very proud of our State Art Galleries.

    • We are very lucky to have such a progressive person in charge of GoMA.

  19. What a wonderful space, and such a great idea to get people involved in art!

    • I think it is great to get children interested in galleries and museums. It is an interest that may stay with them for life.

  20. Oh, I missed that when I was there a few years ago. What a pity.

  21. What beautiful things to draw, I could very happily spent a couple of hours in the Drawing Room.

    • I have been twice and will probably go a couple more times before I leave.

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