Henri Matisse was an artist that was known for his range; throughout his career he created works that evoked many different styles and utilized different artistic disciplines. According to the Oxford University Press,
“French painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer. He came to art comparatively late in life and made his reputation as the principal protagonist of Fauvism, the first avant-garde movement at the turn of the century. He went on to develop a monumental decorative art, which was innovative both in its treatment of the human figure and in the constructive and expressive role accorded to colour. His long career culminated in a highly original series of works made of paper cut-outs, which confirmed his reputation, with Picasso, as one of the major artists of the 20th century.”
Many people have been able to see Matisse’s paintings and drawings at museum exhibitions of the artist’s work, but some would argue that his paper cut-outs are slightly less known. Right now, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is dedicating an entire exhibition to the artist’s cut-out paper works called, quite simply, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. According to the museum, in the late 1940’s Matisse turned almost exclusively to cut paper as his primary medium. “Matisse would cut painted sheets into forms of varying shapes and sizes – from the vegetal to the abstract – which he then arranged into lively compositions, striking for their play with color and contrast, their exploitation of decorative strategies, and their economy of means,” explains MoMA.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs “is a groundbreaking reassessment of this important body of work,” describes MoMA of the exhibit. The Cut-Outs is certainly groundbreaking for the in-depth examination of Matisse’s work it is displaying; this exhibit is the largest and most extensive presentation of his cut-out works ever mounted, according to the museum. The exhibit features 100 cut-outs from public and private collections around the world, and also contains works of illustration, stained glass, and prints relating to this medium.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
October 12, 2014 – February 8, 2015
The Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Images: via Instagram.