All events are free and take place at UMMA unless otherwise noted.

Dec 10

In Conversation: The Lure of Line

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.

Join UMMA’s Assistant Curator of Western Art, Lehti Mairike Keelmann for an exploration into the drawing practices of two of the most significant artists of the twentieth century: Henri Matisse (France, 1869-1954) and Ellsworth Kelly (United States, 1923-2015).  While both artists are known for their emblematic and impactful use of color, Matisse and Kelly recognized the importance of harnessing line to capture the world around them and considered drawing to be foundational to their work.  This talk invites viewers to engage with the draftsmanship of these two artists, and in the spirit of Kelly who curated the exhibition, to immerse oneself into the act of seeing one artist through the eyes of another.  When explored in dialogue, Matisse’s spirited, lyrical line and Kelly’s controlled, assertive line take on new meaning.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. 

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.

Lead support for the local presentation of this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the Department of the History of Art.