Henri Matisse: Jazz & Poetry on Paper

Exhibition Website

Sep 15 2017 - Jan 15 2018

Daringly modern artist Henri Matisse experimented with many mediums and devoted a major part of his career to reimagining books as art objects in their own right. He brought to life some of the greatest works of French literature, interpreting poetry and myths with playfully looping gestures, elegant lines, and brightly colored shapes in a way that is always distinctly his own. The CMA is proud to present 81 works in a sweeping exhibition that celebrates four of the artist’s books, including his most famous, the colorful Jazz portfolio from 1947. Together, these pages offer meditations on life, love, hardship, and utter joy.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether or not you go, Henri Matisse: Cut-outs, Drawing With Scissors offers a thorough historical context to Matisse’s cut-outs, tracing their roots in his 1930 trip to Tahiti, through to his final years in Nice. Towards the end of his monumental career as a painter, sculptor, and lithographer—he was almost 80 years of age—Matisse developed the technique of ‘carving into color’, creating bright, bold paper cut-outs. Though dismissed by some contemporary critics as the folly of a senile old man, these gouaches decoupées (gouache cut-outs) in fact represented a revolution in modern art. 

It includes many photos of Matisse, some rare color images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, and the filmmaker Murnau and text from Matisse, Picasso, publisher E. Tériade, the poets Louis Aragon, Henri Michaux, and Pierre Reverdy, and Matisse’s son-in-law, Georges Duthuit.

To add this new edition of an original prize-winning volume to your library, click here: Henri Matisse: Cut-outs, Drawing With Scissors

  • Works on Paper
  • European
  • 20th Century
  • Henri Matisse

Exhibition Venues & Dates