Back in December we mentioned a few fun things you could do in NYC over the holidays, one of which was the Matisse cut out show at the Museum of Modern Art.
Matisse called his cut outs “painting with scissors”. He began using this technique after he was diagnosed with cancer. He felt that what in this period of his life constituted his real self; free & liberated. The experimentation with cut-outs offered Matisse innumerable opportunities to fashion a new, aesthetically pleasing environment. As he was bedridden with his illness much of the time he was able to fashion a new, aesthetically pleasing environment: “I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk… There are leaves, fruits, a bird.”
Matisse would cut pieces of paper that he had painted with gouache using a small pair of scissors. He would keep the piece he cut and the scraps for use later. His assistant, Lydia Delectorskaya, would then pin the pieces to the walls with is guidance.
His cutouts, vast in scale (though not always in size), lush and rigorous in color, are among the most admired and influential works of his entire career. They belong with the grandest affirmations of the vital creative force in Western art.
Not only did one of our designers, Selina, go see this wonderful show, she was so inspired she used the same technique to with her own artwork. She spent an entire day making these wonderful examples, “you should see the mess I made on my work table,” she said with a smile.