Matisse Cut-Outs at TATE Modern
On Saturday I went to the TATE Modern to see the Matisse cut-outs exhibition which didn't disappoint. I knew his work would be big in scale but I was taken aback by just how big it is. I found the scale of this body of work especially remarkable as Matisse was in his eighties and wheelchair-bound when he produced the cut-outs series. He appears to have achieved all this with ease, confidence, intention and passion. There is nothing "cookie cutter-like" about the shapes as Matisse treated each and every shape as an individual - his style is definately organic as opposed to mechanical.
I had always thought that Matisse used coloured card or paper for his shapes but discovered that he painted the paper so even in simplicity there is texture. From a distance the artworks look flat but upon closer inspection it is evident that they are far from flat due to the painterly brush strokes of the pre-painted paper and the paper layers... Matisse "built" the shapes rather than cutting them from one uniform flat sheet of paper. Matisse deconstructed elements into their simplest forms yet there is nothing rigid or static about these great works of art. On the contrary there is movement, colour, personality and harmony in the form which is obviously considered and that is what I love about his cut-outs.
Watching the video clip of Matisse cutting shapes from the paper was fascinating... his giant dress-making scissors seemed to glide along the paper like a seamstress cutting expensive cloth; yet he didn't use expensive paper or materials, seemingly choosing to use what he had to hand and using elementary materials such as scissors, paper, glue and even pins!!
I've been hugely inspired to get out my scissors, glue, magazine cuttings, painted and collage papers to create some faces and dolls for this month's Lilla Rogers MATs Bootcamp mini!! I have raided my stash and finally I have a use for all those monoprinted papers I wasn't sure what to do with!