Henri Matisse

1869 - 1954 / French

”Did Matisse’s mastery at the end of his life prevail over his vision? The most beautiful and most winning of his cutouts are those, which do not give that feeling. Oceanie, le ciel and Oceanie, la mer: white forms pinned right onto the beige walls of a large room in his apartment (all the surfaces of which, in the end, were entirely covered by them, including the overdoors), they were the first two of Matisse’s large cut our compositions. That they are so very sober and discreet accounts for the fact that they have been neglected, even to the present day. Yet one gets the feeling that they represent Matisse as inspired, in a state of constant improvisation and invention, moving ahead into the unknown areas of his problem with a kind of simplicity and freshness of approach that were to fade out, fatally, in his large subsequent compositions. One finds oneself surrounded-with almost nothing, yet well and most truly surrounded all the same, immersed in that” almost nothing” and what a fine thing it would have been had Matisse not deviated from it.”

Part of “Something else” by Dominique Fourcade in Henri Matisse – Paper cutouts , published by The St. Louis Art museum and The Detroit Institute of Art.

Alexander Calder Robert Colquhoun



""Pensez que vous avez un grand oeuvre de moi""

Henri Matisse to Zika Ascher