Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Edited by Karl Buchberg, Nicholas Cullinan, Jodi Hauptman. Text by Samantha Friedman, Flavia Frigeri, Markus Gross, Stephan Lohrengel, Nicholas Serota.
Published in conjunction with the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the paper cut-outs Henri Matisse made from the early 1940s until his death in 1954, this paperback edition presents approximately 150 works in a groundbreaking reassessment of the artist's colorful and innovative final chapter. The result of new research by conservators and curators, the catalogue explores a host of technical and conceptual issues: the artist's methods and materials and the role and function of the works in his practice; their economy of means and exploitation of decorative strategies; their environmental aspects; and their double lives, first as contingent and mutable in the studio and ultimately made permanent, a transformation accomplished by mounting and framing. Richly illustrated to present the cut-outs in all of their vibrancy and luminosity, the book includes an introduction and a conservation essay that consider the cut-outs from new theoretical and technical perspectives, and five thematic essays, each focusing on a different moment in the development of the cut-out practice, that provide a chronicle of this radical medium's unfolding. Period photographs show the works in progress in Matisse's studio.
One of modern art's towering figures, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a painter, draftsman, sculptor and printmaker before turning to paper cut-outs in the 1940s. From the clashing hues of his Fauvist works, made in the South of France in 1904-5, to the harmonies of his Nice interiors from the 1920s to this brilliant final chapter, Matisse's career followed a path that he described as "construction by means of color."
Jodi Hauptman is a Curator in the Department of Drawings & Prints at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Karl Buchberg is a Senior Conservator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Samantha Friedman is an Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings & Prints at MoMA.
Nicholas Cullinan is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"White Alga on Orange and Red Background (Algue blanche sur fond orange et rouge)" (1947) is reproduced from Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs.