Henri Matisse The Cut Outs
Published in conjunction with the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the paper cut-outs Henri Matisse made from the early 1940s until his death in 1954, this paperback edition presents approximately 150 works in a groundbreaking reassessment of the artist's colorful and innovative final chapter.
The result of new research by conservators and curators, the catalogue explores a host of technical and conceptual issues: the artist's methods and materials and the role and function of the works in his practice; their economy of means and exploitation of decorative strategies; their environmental aspects; and their double lives, first as contingent and mutable in the studio and ultimately made permanent, a transformation accomplished by mounting and framing. Richly illustrated to present the cut-outs in all of their vibrancy and luminosity, the book includes an introduction and a conservation essay that consider the cut-outs from new theoretical and technical perspectives, and five thematic essays, each focusing on a different moment in the development of the cut-out practice, that provide a chronicle of this radical medium's unfolding. Period photographs show the works in progress in Matisse's studio.
One of modern art's towering figures, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a painter, draftsman, sculptor and printmaker before turning to paper cut-outs in the 1940s. From the clashing hues of his Fauvist works, made in the South of France in 1904-5, to the harmonies of his Nice interiors from the 1920s to this brilliant final chapter, Matisse's career followed a path that he described as "construction by means of color."