Matisse Nudes

The cut-outs are one of my favourite things. They are so simplistic in colour, style and appearance, when actually, they are extremely complex due to the process of learning about the figure and shape of the human body in order to understand it. It is phenomenal to then end up with these abstract outcomes that are saturated with knowledge and creativity.

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(from Left) Small Torso, 1929. Bronze, height: 9cm. Small Thin Torso, 1929. Bronze, height: 7.8cm. Forms. White Torso and Blue Torso (Jazz), 1944. Stencil. p10-11

The link between the cut-outs and sculpture is strong, and with these images, you are able to see the almost literal translation. It makes you wonder which had more of an influence. Was is the cut-outs that informed the sculpture, or the sculpture that informed the cut-outs? With the cut-outs themselves, it is quite nice to see the use of both the positive and negative space. (This method could also be used to produce prints)

With these images, you can see clearly the journey of constantly going back over a design; re-positioning and redrawing the same image in order to get the final result. It looks as though the contortion is being subject to an experiment. Trying to see what the body can do that looks unreal, almost unbelievable.

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Blue Nude IV, 1952. Gouache cut-outs, 102.9 x 76.8cm. Musee Matisse, Nice.

 

I love all of the Blue Nudes, but this one particularly stood out to me because you can still see the pencil marks underneath the final cut-out. These pieces always look very instinctive so it is interesting to be able to see the planning that went into the final image, and how the appearance altered over time as it was worked on.

 

 

 

 

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Standing Blue Nude, 1952. Stencil

 

 

The construction of the figures intrigues me because each body is divided up into separate pieces. ‘Standing Blue Nude‘ shows a very simple divide of body parts; the legs are separate, the torso and head are attached but separate from the arms. However, other examples show even more dissection. Layers are built up, overlapped and placed next to each other to reconstruct the new blue figure.

 

All images from this blog post were sourced from –

Néret, G. (2006). Henri Matisse: Cut-outs. USA: Taschen.

 

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Matisse Nudes

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