This exhibition of Matisse’s artworks made using paper cut-outs,is the first of its kind to visit London and as described, is a once in a life-time chance to see many of his works in one place. Lush and rigorous in colour, his cut-outs are among the most admired and influential works of Matisse’s entire career.
Matisse began using a wheelchair after having surgery, due to a cancer diagnosis during the forties. The restriction of a wheelchair however, was the catalyst for a new phase in the artists career and his subsequent feeling of renewed energy within his work – “Une seconde vie”, a second life, was what he called the last fourteen years of his life. With the aid of assistants, he created many paper collages, often enormous in scale, called ‘gouaches decoupes’. This transition into working with paper cut-outs was not a renunciation of painting and sculpture, moreover it was considered by Matisse to be “painting with scissors”. Experimenting in this way also gave him the ability to create an aesthetically pleasing environment whilst bedridden, due to his ill health.
With 120 works showing, all made between 1936 and 1954, this exhibition is a wonderful homage to “an artist whom almost re-invented colour in painting, yet found freedom in the simplicity of decoration.”
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is curated by Nicholas Cullinan, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Nicholas Serota, Director with Flavia Frigeri, Assistant Curator, Tate and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York by Jodi Hauptman, Curator, Department of Drawings, and Karl Buchberg, Senior Conservator, with Samantha Friedman, Assistant Curator.
The exhibition will be showing at the Tate Modern until 7th September, 2014.