I want to see the Matisse collages

April 24, 2014

I like to look at all sorts of art and I am usually not the person who needs to go to the big spectacular shows. But there is one big exhibition in London this year that I do not want to miss. There is already a lot of hype around it and usually hype puts me off, but this one I MUST see together with millions of others: the Matisse collages or ‘cut outs’ at the Tate Modern.

Picasso and Matisse were the two artistic giants of the 20th century. Like Picasso Matisse tried his hand at many different art forms: drawing, print making, painting and sculpture. In all of them he excelled and produced iconic masterpieces. But the most extraordinary work was produced in the last years of his life.

Matisse was wheel chair bound after an operation to remove bowl cancer. Most normal people would have packed it in. Not Matisse. Unable to stand up and paint or sculpt he started to cut out pieces of coloured paper and with the help of an assistant created the most breath taking collages, originally quite small in scale but getting bigger and bolder over the years, sometimes covering entire walls. His drawing, painting and sculpting skills all came to a wonderful culmination. He created works of joyful abandon, weightless, floating shapes that left behind all his own physical restrictions, an extraordinary life affirming statement.

I have seen some of this work already, but in the London show many masterpieces have been brought together and I just imagine I will be wowed. I have got till September to see it. Anybody else coming?


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