Talk: Matisse and Le Décoratif

Discover the colourful world of Matisse with this timely talk. 

Join us back onsite at the Alliance Française de Sydney for a fascinating discussion with Professor Roger Benjamin from University of Sydney, in celebration of the launch of Art Gallery of NSW's exhibition Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris (running Saturday 20 November 2021 - Sunday 13 March 2022). 

During this talk, Professor Benjamin will unpack some of Matisse's most distinctive iconography, from exuberant colours to decorative patterns, inspired by his travels to Spain, North Africa and Islamic art.

The talk will be followed by a short interview of Professor Benjamin, facilitated by Marie Chrétien.

Meet your speakers:

Roger Benjamin

Roger Benjamin (Clark Mellon Curatorial Fellow) is Professor of Art History at the University of Sydney. He has written widely on modern French art - Matisse in particular - and the history of French Orientalist painting.

His first book, Matisse's 'Notes of a Painter': Criticism, Theory and Context, 1891-1908, was published in 1987. In 1995 he co-curated the travelling retrospective Matisse for the Queensland Art Gallery. His book, Orientalist Aesthetics: Art, Colonialism and French North Africa, 1880-1930 (2003) received the prestigious Robert Motherwell Book Award. In 2006, he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

His latest book Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia (2015) was followed by the exhibition Biskra, sortilèges d'une oasis, held at the Arab World Institute, Paris in 2016.

Marie Chrétien

Marie Chrétien has a keen interest in art, having graduated from Sydney University with a Master of Art in 2014 in addition to winning the Francis Stuart Prize.

Marie is the founder of CulturePlus, the first initiative of which is the Eloquence Art Prize (2021-22).


Tuesday 7 December
6:15pm – 7:30pm,
Wholegreen cafe, 257 Clarence Street, 2000 



$10 for AF Members
$15 for Non-members
(includes a glass of wine)

Membership status will be checked


Please note that this event is currently booked our however you can join our waiting list


Proof of vaccination is required to attend this talk