Review: Henri Matisse

A cut out

It has been a while since I have taken any notice of the French artist Matisse. I very much prefer his cut outs but a lot of people admire his paintings. I am not one to say what makes a good artist or a Master in this respect although I would say I am a very good artist myself and may be better but then I am bias. The show was curated by Nicholas Cullinan the curator for the department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum.

Matisse made art in a period when culture was trying to be re-defined or should I say re-discovered as it always appears to. Art was about creating a more modern way; a new way of thinking, and exploring. Henri Matisse was a fauvist painter using strong vivid colours and expressions that were not necessarily the same as the scene and objects they were painting. It is suggested to be more primitive in content. It was a step or movement away from impressionism but still with some aspects for example painting directly on to canvas from life.

It is strange to be commenting on someone who has been buried many years ago and one can only imagine what he would think of the show at the Tate Modern. I am sure he would be very pleased but I would suspect he would like a few more of his paintings in the show because that is what he did for predominantly most of his life. Although there have been so many shows of his painting it is refreshing not to show any.

The cut outs were something he ended it up doing through ill health but it is obvious from the quantity that he made, it was like a rebirth to him a new vision in his way of thinking art. That what he had been fighting to do in painting he achieved with the simple cut out of painted paper. He had reached the peak of the mountain and was now looking down in wonder. He was probably over the moon. He in some ways had rediscovered his youth and all its rawness in life.

I was pleased to go I particularly like the blue nudes and I understand that these are unlikely to be seen together again for sometime as they are from different collections.

Matisse was very successful we may look back and some people might say he was over rated but he was reacting to the period of his time. Trying to find something but unsure if he would touch it. Matisse went and studied art he did not wake up one morning and say I am an artist but his study continued throughout his life he went against convention.

I would suggest people to experience this show. Although from what I was told by one of the guys working there that it has been packed every day since it opened. And it was busy when I went. So don’t expect to find the show to be devoid of people. It’s Matisse for Christ sake everyone knows who he is. Christ that is.

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