Henri Matisse loved the light of California, and especially of San Francisco, which was the first place in America ever to see any of his paintings, just over a century ago. Next month, the city’s Museum of Modern Art hosts Matisse: Painter as Sculptor, the latest in a series of great revisionist shows that have drastically realigned the artist’s reputation over the past 15 years. This one puts paid to any lingering doubt that Matisse is one of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors. No previous exhibition has traced so clearly the imaginative thrust of his sculpture, laid out its interior logic so lucidly, or explored, in such detail, its impact on fellow artists.

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