Diagnosed with abdominal cancer in 1941, Matisse underwent surgery that left him chair and bed bound. Painting and sculpture had become physical challenges, so he turned to a new type of medium. With the help of his assistants, he began creating cut paper collages, or decoupage. He would cut sheets of paper, pre-painted with gouache by his assistants, into shapes of varying colors and sizes, and arrange them to form lively compositions. Initially, these pieces were modest in size but eventually transformed into murals or room-sized works. The result was a distinct and dimensional complexity—an art form that was not quite painting, but not quite sculpture.
These custom Matisse Rugs were been inspired by Matisse’s “Cut-Outs”, his work in the last years of his life.
Check out the Henri Matisse – The Cut-Outs exhibition at MOMA
October 12, 2014–February 10, 2015
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