visual culture wales

Articles by Huw David Jones

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors

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} features 35 lithographic prints of the famous cut-outs, produced in the last four years of his life, when the artist was confined to his bed, and includes many of his iconic images, such as {The Snail} and the {Blue Nudes}.

Matisse

Matisse

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.

Matisse continued creating highly original works well into his eighties. For his cut-outs he used paper that had been hand-painted with gouache, laid down in abstract or figurative patterns. The colours were so strong that a doctor advised him to wear dark glasses.

“There is no gap between my earlier pictures and my cut-outs,” Matisse wrote; “I have only reached a form reduced to the essential through greater absoluteness and greater abstraction”. This visiting exhibition – organised by the Hayward Gallery on behalf of Arts Council England –offers a brilliant overview of the artist’s late work.

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors – Late Works 1950-54 is the Rhondda Heritage Park, Trehafod, from Sat 20 Sep to Sun 19 Oct, 2008.

This post was originally published by Buzz magazine.

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2008 by and tagged , .
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