17 August 2009

Joyous Colourist Matisse

Henri Matisse spent his entire life as a painter studying and working with colour: "I feel through colour," he once said. He found this calling when his mother offered him a box of paints when he was recovering from an apendix opperation. He was 20 at the time.
In 1941 Matisse was diagnosed with cancer, that eventually disabled him and kept him from painting directly on canvas, so he found a new way of expressing himself: Cut-outs. His scissors drew the curvy lines in papers coloured with gouache. The Master renounces drawing and draws directly in the colour. Often lying down or confined to a wheelchair, Matisse found a way of changing his destiny. These late works are not cubist collages, or Kandinsky 's abstractions, nor the biomorphic signs of Jean Arp. It's a determined return to childhood, to joy. In 1947, Matisse published a collection of these paperworks, which he simply called Jazz, with the bold works of improvisation in colour.
I have this book, and last Sunday I loaned it to Teacher. I hope she takes care of it, because it is indeed a precious thing, full of joy.

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