This past weekend I attended the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit. It was inspiring, informative, overwhelming and just plain awesome. I wasn’t able to take photos of the exhibit but here is the cover of the book that I bought about the exhibit.
Some of the pieces in the collection were larger than life. Not only in scale but in imagination…
They were just so simple yet said so much in his economy of line and depth. A lot of the pieces had a flatness to them but an illusion of depth with the contrast bw his intense color of the subject but a flat application of color to the background. As seen in the photograph above. You can go to MoMA’s website here to see more work from the exhibition.
In his larger works he would substitute in and out various pieces of subject matter. Here is a quote I took from one of the exhibits
…Substitution was characteristic of Matisse’s process; he constantly shifted elements within and bw works.
What this is referring to is … his later cut-out work. Matisse was bed ridden because of his health and he wanted to create a garden around him so that he could imagine wandering it. In his later works he mainly used gauche, paper and scissors. So he would pin up on his walls his garden and then insert and remove various elements to the composition until he was satisfied. And then he would typically use the discarded elements in another work.
What he created was nothing short of ground breaking. He was working in the late 40’s early 50’s on his cutwork pieces. He had a masterful eye of reducing the form and shape down to its simplest of elements.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the exhibition. If you are in the New York area and can get to the exhibit before 10 February 2015; it is so worth the visit..
If you can’t make it there researching Matisse and his later years is worth doing. He has inspired a whole set of ideas and influenced me! It was so great to see those works up close and see the pencil lines around the cutouts and his wobbly cuts. It looks so primitive yet sophisticated at the same time.
I also saw many other works of art that were and are always inspirational to me. I will share these and the photos I took in a future post.