Drawing with Scissors. Late Works 1950-1954
A Hayward Touring Exhibition
The French painter, sculptor and designer, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. His vibrant works are celebrated for their extraordinary richness and luminosity of colour and his spectacular paper cut-outs were his final triumph. Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, a Hayward Touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre features 35 posthumous prints of the famous cut-outs that he produced in the last four years of his life, when confined to his bed. It includes many of his iconic images, such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes. It comes to Brentwood Road Gallery in February 2017
Matisse continued creating highly original works into his eighties. For his cut-outs he used paper hand-painted with gouache, which he carved into with scissors: ‘the paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour … Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it…I draw straight into the colour’. The colours he used were so strong that he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses.
The lithographic reproductions in this exhibition are taken from a special double issue of Verve, a review of art and literature, published by Matisse’s friend, the critic and fine art publisher Tériade, in 1958, four years after Matisse’s death. The publication was planned during Matisse’s lifetime and the first lithographic plates were prepared under his direction a few days before he died.
Matisse began his working life as a lawyer, before going to Paris to study art in 1890. At first strongly influenced by the Impressionists, he soon created his own style, using brilliant, pure colours, and started making sculptures as well as paintings. In 1905 he and his colleagues were branded the Fauves (wild beasts) because of their unconventional use of colour, and it was during this time that he painted his celebrated Luxe, Calme et Volupté (Luxury, Tranquillity and Delight).
‘There is no gap between my earlier pictures and my cut-outs’, Matisse wrote; ‘I have only reached a form reduced to the essential through greater absoluteness and greater abstraction’
For over 40 years, the Hayward Gallery has a played a key role in creating imaginative, high profile exhibitions in London and, through Hayward Touring Exhibitions, within the UK. Both Hayward Touring and the Arts Council Collection are managed by the Hayward Gallery on behalf of Arts Council England, and add to the Hayward’s distinctive national remit.
The Hayward Gallery is a constituent part of Southbank Centre, the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. Each year the Hayward Gallery presents up to five major art exhibitions as well as Hayward Touring exhibitions in more than 100 venues around the country.
Brentwood Road Gallery
Frances Bardsley Academy
Opening hours: Open by appointment Mon-Fri 9-3pm
Telephone: 01708 447368
For more information about upcoming venues for this exhibition please check: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/visual-arts/hayward-touring/current
Public enquiries about Hayward Touring exhibitions: 020 7921 0837