Matisse – Paper Cutting

I’m not sure how Matisse’s paper cutting has passed me by. I must at some stage have thought they were a bit simple and not looked again.

In the Pompidou Centre in Paris recently, I came face to face with two large works of paper cutting by Matisse and was quite blown away by them. I’d not imagined them to be so large or to be so crude and immediate. From a distance or in print, they look carefully designed and placed (Which they are but in an instinctive immediate way.) They almost look as though they have been designed on Adobe Illustrator on the computer.

Close up, you can see the cut marks and how the shapes are made up not from one clean cut, but from many pieces glued together.

Why mention this? My daughter ordered a book about Matisse and paper cutting before Christmas and it only arrived today. I’m so looking forward to reading it and getting inspired. Maybe I’ll have a go myself.

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