Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs

Art

Tate Modern

Until Sun Sep 7

  • Henri Matisse

    'The Parakeet and the Mermaid' 1952

    © Stedelijk. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'The Eskimo' 1947

    Designmuseum Danmark. Photo credit: Pernille Klemp. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'The Clown' 1943

    © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat
    Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Large Composition with Masks' 1953

    National Gallery of Art, Washington. Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1973.17.1
    Digital Image: © National Gallery of Art, Washington
    Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'The Snail' 1953

    Tate. © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2013

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Memory of Oceania' 1952-3

    MoMA © 2013. The Museum of Modern Art, New York / Scala Florence
    © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2013

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Blue Nude II' spring 1952

    Digital image: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Droits réservés
    Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Blue Nude (I)' 1952

    Foundation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Digital image: Robert Bayer, Basel. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Icarus' 1946

    Maquette for plate VIII of the illustrated book Jazz 1947. Digital image: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Claude Planchet. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Creole Dancer' 1950

    Musee Matisse, Nice. Digital image: François Fernandez. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'Violet Leaf on Orange Background (Palmette)' 1947

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Marron, New York. © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse
  • Henri Matisse

    'The Lagoon' 1946

    Maquette for plate XVII of the illustrated book Jazz 1947. Digital image: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

'The Parakeet and the Mermaid' 1952

© Stedelijk. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

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  • Name:

    Tate Modern

  • Address:

    Tate Modern Bankside
    London
    SE1 9TG

  • Venue phone:

    020 7887 8888

  • Venue website:

    www.tate.org.uk

  • Opening hours:

    Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-10pm (last adm 45 mins before closing)

  • Transport:

    Tube: Southwark/Blackfriars

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Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs 2014

  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Date Time Price information
  • Sat Jul 26
    10:00
    £18, £16 concs
  • Sun Jul 27
    10:00
    £18, £16 concs
  • Mon Jul 28
    10:00
    £18, £16 concs
  • Tue Jul 29
    10:00
    £18, £16 concs
  • Wed Jul 30
    10:00
    £18, £16 concs
  • Thu Jul 31
    10:00
    £18, £16 concs

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Curated London

It’s hard not to resort to hyperbole when describing Tate’s epic Matisse exhibition. It has been so hotly anticipated, it could easily disappoint. But it is brilliant. And exuberant. And huge. Every piece is a treasure, and the prevailing mood is one of joy and awe. 


Documenting the final chapter in the artist’s career, this extensive collection of work spans 14 rooms. Each shows the progression of his technique, from planning tool to art form in its own right. Matisse first started cutting into sheets of painted paper in his sixties, having already had a prolific career. Debilitated by ill-health, he found his strength and manual dexterity were not as they once were. He used cut-outs to plan conventional paintings, conserving his energy for when the idea was better formed.


It didn’t take him long to realise that the results were so compelling, they required no further development. Early work interpreting a Massine ballet and illustrating an art book - Jazz - sewed the seed for the greatness to come. In these, he developed his trademark block style and bold, primary palette.


He later drew on past influences, particularly the time he spent in Tahiti, to create new work in the cutout style. This was when hallmark motifs like leaves, flowers and fish began to emerge and crystallise. He filled his beloved studio in Vence, southern France, with these colourful new collages, often working directly on the studio walls.


One of Matisse’s last major commissions was for the Dominican Chapel of the Rosary, near Vence. Working for the nuns who cared for him during his illness, he exceeded the expectations of the brief by a considerable margin. He was asked to consult on the design for a stained glass window, but ended up designing the entire interior of the chapel, right down to the vestments worn by the priests.


Rare archive video footage shows him at work on this project, and gives a great insight into both his talent and his dedication. By this time too weak to stand for very long, Matisse created his designs using charcoal attached to the end of a stick - sometimes several feet long. The results are breathtaking, even without the knowledge of his impediment.


Room after room charts the development of his confidence in this new medium. As the months and years passed, canvases got bigger, colours got bolder and portrayals more abstract. Every turn in this exhibition yields another pleasure, from discovering lesser-known pieces (liked the critically-acclaimed Zulma and Creole Dancer) to appreciating ubiquitous works (like the Blue Nudes series) as if seem for the first time. The collection builds to a crescendo, climaxing with a magnificent stained glass window designed for the Time Life building in New York.


This exhibition will surely delight fans of Matisse as much as those unfamiliar with his work. If you see only one exhibition this year, make it this one.


For more art in plain English, check out http://curatedlondon.co.uk