Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Cut Outs

Bright color on color, vibrant, complementary color, straight from the tube unmixed with white, gray or black. Flat shapes, frond shape, acanthus shapes, spirals, negative shapes. These are the materials Matisse worked with when he made the cut outs in the last productive and prolific period of his life.

The exhibition at Tate Modern of the paper cut outs has many of the pieces of work we associate with Matisse; the blue nudes, Jazz, the many frond and leafy flat shapes of bright painted paper. The exhibit explains how Matisse came to this technique changing from the lively paintings he previously painted. It was after an operation for cancer and a long recovery, but limited his mobility that he moved to this method of expression.

With a long pair of fabric scissors and sheets of paper painted with gouache he cut shapes, placed them on canvas to find a suitable arrangement.

It is a fun, immediate and active method of arranging compositions. A method that translates into Photoshop and Illustrator with ease. I feel we will see much influence from this exhibit in graphic and textile design, if we aren't seeing it already.

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