Chester Art Centre to host an Henri Matisse exhibition
7 June - 9 July 2019
We are extremely excited to announce that Chester Art Centre will be hosting an exhibition of original prints by Henri Matisse in June 2019!
Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was undoubtedly one of the foremost painters of the first half of the 20th Century. He was the supreme master in those trends of 20th century art that are represented by calligraphic pattern and the abstract use of pure colour.
In his final bedridden years Matisse embarked upon highly original work using brightly coloured cut-out paper shapes (gouaches découpées), arranged into pure abstract patterns. “Instead of drawing an outline and filling in the colour…I am drawing directly in colour,” he said. Drawing with scissors – cutting shapes from paper he had pre-painted – meant that the contour of a shape and its internal area were formed simultaneously. The colours he used in his cut-outs were often so strong that his doctor advised him to wear dark glasses
In earlier years Matisse had made the acquaintance of Fernand Mourlot, owner of the great firm of French lithographers Mourlot Frères. He was therefore delighted when the French art entrepreneur, Monsieur Tériade suggested that the craftsmen at Mourlot’s should reinterpret the cut-outs as lithographs. A suite of thirty-nine images was printed from the stone blocks at the atelier. The precise edition size is not known but they are now comparatively scarce.
Matisse considered these his new way of painting, he said:
Scissors can acquire more feeling for line than pencil or charcoal...