Matisse: Drawing with Scissors
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Late Works 1950-1954 A Hayward Touring Exhibition

Image : Nu bleu II (Blue Nude II),1952
Lithographic reproduction
116,2×88,9cm
(C) Succession H.Matisse/DACS 2013

The French painter, sculptor and designer, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. His vibrant works are celebrated for their extraordinary richness and luminosity of colour.

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, a Hayward Touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre features 35 lithographic reproductions of the famous cut-outs, produced in the last four years of his life, when the artist was confined to his bed. It includes many of his iconic images, such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes. It comes to The Atkinson on Saturday 15 February and runs until Sunday 16 March.

Matisse continued creating highly original works into his eighties. For his cut-outs he used paper hand-painted with gouache, laid down in abstract or figurative patterns: ‘the paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour … Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it…I draw straight into the colour’. The colours he used were so strong that he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses.

The lithographic reproductions in this exhibition are taken from a special double issue of Verve, a review of art and literature, published by Tériade, a major publisher of fine art books in 1958.

Matisse began his working life as a lawyer, before going to Paris to study art in 1890. At first strongly influenced by the Impressionists, he soon created his own style, using brilliant, pure colours, and started making sculptures as well as paintings. In 1905 he and his colleagues were branded the Fauves (wild beasts) because of their unconventional use of colour, and it was during this time that he painted his celebrated Luxe, Calme et Volupté (Luxury, Tranquillity and Delight).

Matisse said: “There is no gap between my earlier pictures and my cut-outs, I have only reached a form reduced to the essential through greater absoluteness and greater abstraction’.

Family friendly workshop taking place in The Art Box on Mon 17 Feb from 11am – 2pm

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