Guess which blockbuster exhibition I went to see! Yes, off to Tate Modern for the Matisse Cut Outs – on until 7 September.
To be perfectly honest, Matisse’s paintings don’t do much for me, but somehow the cut-outs really do – perhaps because they’re more clearly 20th century, a break with tradition rather than trying to continue and re-interpret the past. So I like them, they definitely feel ahead of their time.
I loved being able to see Matisse develop his cut-outs, starting with the Jazz book. Quite a lot of layering, such as with the firebird ballet images – hadn’t realized when I put up a small postcard of the image as a student, but at the Tate you can see the pins that hold them all together, and the changes he made by tacking new elements on top of the early design! Fascinating.
If you can manage some French, it’s also interesting to read Matisse’s hand-written text that eventually was published with the images. All about art, perception and life! Wish they had re-printed the book with images and text – it would be great to have that to take home and re-read. Who knows, there may be copy-right issues…
I’m not so keen on his later and larger scale work, apart from the amazing blue nudes – simple outlines, such amazing use of the blank space in-between the blue paper, to make up the complete form. Shows he did like his women! So, definitely recommended – and Art Fund members (aka National Art Pass holders) get in at a reduced rate.