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# Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth

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Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth  [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2019, 10:58
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 439, Date: 08-Nov-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth century, this pairing has been touted as the quintessential artistic rivalry. In Matisse and Picasso, Yve-Alain Bois follows Hubert Damisch in proposing that the interaction between Picasso and Matisse should be seen as a dynamic game rather than a static conflict of artistic polarities. Bois employs the metaphor of chess, arguing that the game represents the artists’ exchange as “a competitive rivalry and a complex temporality” that can be viewed both as a linear process and a simultaneous structure.

But the metaphor of a competitive sport, however complex and intellectually rich, is misleading. The two artists were engaged not just in competition (even friendly competition) but also in friendly dialogue. The two men were more than rivals: they were colleagues, critics, teachers, and occasional friends. A better model, though perhaps one with less flash, is that of a simple conversation, with all the rich variation and shifts in motivation and tone that are possible.

Picasso’s Large Nude in a Red Armchair marks the extremes of the artist’s combativeness towards Matisse. The painting is a clear parody of Matisse’s earlier Odalisque with a Tambourine. The composition of the figures is strikingly similar: a woman lounges in an armchair at the center of the painting, arm raised above her head, decorative wallpaper behind her. Both paintings feature vivid color contrasts, with green wallpaper, vivid reds, glaring yellows, and rich browns. But Picasso’s painting, finished in 1929, mocks theachievements of Matisse’s earlier work. The sensuous, rich mood of Matisse’s painting has been transformed in Picasso’s work into something harsh and grotesque.

The other extreme of the dialogue between the two artists can be seen in Picasso’s Woman with Yellow Hair and Matisse’s response, The Dream. The exchange begins with Picasso’s work, in 1931. The painting depicts a woman asleep on her arms, resting on a table. She is full, rich, warm, and curved, her head and arms forming a graceful arabesque. This image seems a direct attempt to master Matisse’s style and to suggest to the older artist new directions for his work. While there may well be an edge of competitiveness to the painting, a sense that Picasso was demonstrating his ability to do Matisse’s work, it remains in large part a helpful hint.

Matisse, nearly a decade later, continues the conversation in a similar tone. In The Dream of 1940, he proposes a revision of Picasso’s work. Again, a woman lies asleep on a table, her arm tucked beneath her head. Matisse accepts Picasso’s basic suggestions for his style: sinuous curves, volumes, and shocking uses of color to express an effect. But Matisse also modifies the earlier work significantly. Color is no longer rigidly tied to form, as bits of fuchsia seep outside the thick black line marking the outline of the table and the patch of yellow on the woman’s blouse refuses to be contained by the drawn line. Matisse uses Picasso’s same palette of red, purple, white, black, and yellow to create this revision, editing out only the garish green, as if to chide Picasso for the choice. The brilliant interplay of colors in Matisse’s work is far more sophisticated and subtle than that offered by Picasso. “Thank you,” Matisse seems to be saying, “but you missed a few spots.”

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) discuss the two best painters of an epoch
(B) evaluate a theory and endorse a revision
(C) compare selected works of two masters
(D) show that Matisse’s work is more sophisticated
(E) illustrate how Picasso taught Matisse

2. The author would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Artistic rivalries are more like Olympic competitions than professional sports.
(B) Artistic mastery is best demonstrated by employing multiple styles.
(C) Artists must be good conversationalists.
(D) Artistic rivalries can actually be reciprocally nourishing.
(E) Artistic rivalries generally last for decades.

3. According to the passage, which of the following describes Woman with Yellow Hair?

(A) It was parody of a work by Matisse.
(B) Its colors were not rigidly tied to its form.
(C) Its color palette was larger than that of The Dream.
(D) It was a response to a work by Matisse.
(E) It was harsh and grotesque.

4. Which of the following, had it actually occurred during the artists’ lifetimes, would further support the author’s thesis?

(A) A joint exhibition of the two artists’ work
(C) A movie that dramatized the competition between the two artists
(D) A play that depicted the two artists playing chess
(E) A painting of the two artists

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Re: Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth  [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2019, 14:51
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Re: Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2019, 03:24
1
6 mins and got 3 right
1.
A. incorrect, the passage never said Matisse and Picasso are best painters (although I don’t know what epoch means)
B. correct, the passage evaluates Bois’ theory and provides a revision
C. true but not the main point
D. clearly incorrect
E. irrelevant
2. although I just guess what “reciprocally nourishing” means, but other options are clearly not mentioned in the passage. Correct answer is D
3.
A. Woman with Yellow Hair wasn’t parody of a work by Matisse, Large Nude was (3rd paragraph)
B. Incorrect, Matisse’s revision of this picture had colors not rigidly tied to its form
C. Very tricky but C is correct since Matisse used the same platte on The dream but editing out garish green
D. Clearly incorrect. It was Matisse who responded to Picasso’s work with The Dream
E. Clearly incorrect. Large Nude was harsh and grotesque (although I don’t know what it means), Woman with Yellow hair was not.
4
Got this wrong, but C, D, E can be eliminated. I supposed A is incorrect since it doesn’t show how two artists interact with each other.
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Re: Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2019, 05:37
1
If you try to explain each paragraph in a single statement, it would be something like this:
Para 1: Introduction to the sweet and yet competitive rivalry between Picasso and Matisse.
Para 2: Explains Rivalry is more than just being enemy, rather its a competition on social and professional level.
Para 3, 4 and 5: Examples of presenting a better version of each others work.

1) Primary Purpose:
- A: Although the two painters are described, the context and premise falls more towards describing their rivalry.
- B: Correct ans. Theory is that rivalry and competition and revision is provided with examples.
- C: Works of each artist is compared. But thats just para 3 4 and 5. It doesn't cover the whole story like reason and cause.
- D: Matisse work is more sophisticated is established in para 5. Doesn't cover the whole RC
- E: Incorrect. Picasso didn't teach Matisse, rather inspired, but again not relevant to primary purpose

2)
D: In para 4 and 5 it is clearly established that rivalry made the artists compete which led to better work being done by each.

3)
C: While painting Yellow hair, Picasso used green as well whereas while painting The Dream, Matisse used all the colors used by Picasso except green. Hence Picasso's color palette was larger.

4)
B: Towards the end of 2nd para, author says if the artists were put in a conversation with each other, it would be something. Hence a radio broadcast with both of them talking about their own and each others painting counts as a conversation, which if would've happened would be something.
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Re: Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2019, 10:27
Official Explanation

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

Explanation

The author discusses Bois and Damisch’s metaphor (“a dynamic game”), calls it misleading, and proposes an expansion beyond the competitive aspect. This matches choice (B).

Choice (A) is incorrect, as the author does not claim that the two artists were the best.

Choice (C) only addresses the details and evidence presented in the passage but not the main point.

Choices (D) and (E) are both distortions because the passage does not rank the painters, and these issues are again not the point.

2. The author would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

Explanation

This question type asks for a combination of the point, tone, and, perhaps, structure. The author expresses the point at the end of the first paragraph by suggesting that the rivalry between Picasso and Matisse was more of a dialogue, or “exchange.” This would match choice (D), that “rivalries can be reciprocally nourishing.”

Choice (A) is an incorrect comparison because the passage rejects the idea that such rivalries are mere competitions.

Choice (B) distorts a detail by adding an opinion not stated in the passage. The author writes about the artists employing multiple styles, but never implies they are masters because they employ multiple styles.

Choice (C) is a distortion based on a misreading of the “conversation” metaphor.

Choice (E) is incorrect, as the word “generally” is a claim that the author does not make; the passage concerns one particular rivalry.

3. According to the passage, which of the following describes Woman with Yellow Hair?

Explanation

The last paragraph states that Matisse used the same palette in his work but omitted the green, so Picasso’s Woman with Yellow Hair had a larger color palette, as noted in choice (C).

Choices (A), (D), and (E) are incorrect because they cite comments about Large Nude in a Red Armchair, not Woman with Yellow Hair. Choice (B) is backwards—the passage states that Matisse’s response, as opposed to Picasso’s work, did not rigidly tie color to form.

4. Which of the following, had it actually occurred during the artists’ lifetimes, would further support the author’s thesis?

Explanation

The author’s point is that the rivalry was more of a dialogue than a competition, so “a radio broadcast” as offered in choice (B) would further support this thesis.

Choices (A) and (E) are not correct because those choices do not say anything about the nature of the rivalry.

Choice (C) is wrong because the author’s point is that their relationship was more than a competition.

Choice (D) misconstrues the metaphor that the author rejects.

Hope it helps
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Re: Matisse and Picasso; Picasso and Matisse. Throughout the twentieth   [#permalink] 09 Nov 2019, 10:27