Art/Museums logo

Henri Matisse:The Cutouts
The Tate Modern, London
April 17 - September, 2014
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

October 12, 2014 - February 8, 2015

"Large Decoration with Masks" by Matisse

"Large Decoration with Masks (Grande Decoration aux masques)," by Henri Matisse, 1953, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and ink on white paper, mounted on canvas; 139 3/16 by 392 5/16 inches; National Gallery of Art, Alisa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1973.

"It's like being given a second life; unfortunately it can't be a long one"
Henri Matisse

By Michele Leight

Henri Matisse's cut-outs are so beautiful and joyful it is easy to overlook how "cutting-edge" they were - and remain. They were also a race against time, forged in the aftermath of a serious illness, causing the artist to say: "It's like being given a second life; unfortunately it can't be a long one."

"One has the sense that Matisse was on fire at this time," said Glenn Lowry at the press preview of "Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs," at The Museum of Modern Art, a sumptuous and comprehensive exhibition of the artist's virtuoso - and innovative - "cut-outs" that are as colorful and optimistic as art can be, and the most extensive presentation of the artist's cut-outs ever presented -100 in all, drawn from public and private collections around the world.

There is also a selection of related drawings, illustrated books, stained glass and textiles.  Matisse found this innovative vein of creativity in advanced age, in the final chapter of his impressive career, when he was in poor health, and virtually confined to his rooms in several residences, including the Hotel Regina in Nice, where he worked in his bed, or armchair. There, his imagination flourished as he cut out shapes from papers painted with Linel gouache with tailor's scissors and small scissors (dictated by the size of the shape),  then directed assistants to pin the various shapes on predominantly plain white paper placed around the room, on the walls, switching and rearranging them until he arrived at the perfect composition.

A rare treat, Matisse's newly conserved "The Swimming Pool," from MoMA's collection, acquired in 1975, debuts at this show. Some of the cut-outs were last viewed at the 1961 exhibition at MoMA.

"Henri Matisse: The Cutouts" is organized by MoMA in collaboration with Tate Modern in London. Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of the exhibition.

Blue Nude by Matissse

"Blue Nude I (Nu bleu I)," by Henri Matisse, spring 1952, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas, 41 3/4 by 30 11/16 inches, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Beyeler Collection

The Swimming Pool by Matisse

Left and right:"The Swimming Pool," circa 1952; Center, installed above the doorway: "Women and Monkeys," by Henri Matisse

The exhibition was conceived after an initiative to conserve the monumental, room-sized cut-out, "The Swimming Pool," that required extensive restoration and has not been shown at MoMA for over 20 years.  It was a labor of love according to Karl Buchberg and Jodi Hauptman, who were in charge of the project. "The Swimming Pool" was too fragile to move, so it was not included in the show at Tate Modern in London. Other superb, large works by Matisse were delivered here by plane - "a plane that had to be large enough to hold them" said Mr. Lowry, who said a show like this was an expensive undertaking.  

There are times in an artist's life when something important happens, that takes them to the next level. Matisse's magnum opus, "The Swimming Pool," created in 1952, was  the result of his visit to a favourite swimming pool in Cannes, because he "wanted to see divers." It was a scorching day, and, suffering under the "blazing sun," Matisse returned home to the quiet of his rooms in the Hotel Regina in Nice, where he told his assistant Lydia Delectorskaya: "I will make myself my own pool." He then asked her to surround the walls of his dining room with a band of white paper, positioned just above his head, interrupted only at the window and doors at opposite ends of the room that was lined with tan fabric. Then, he cut out of ultramine painted paper his own divers, swimmers and sea creatures. These forms were then pinned on the white paper, resulting in the aquatic ballet of bodies, splashing water and light. "The Swimming Pool" was Matisse's first and only self-contained, site-specific cut-out. The current installation is faithful to its original existence in Matisse's dining room. A related work, "Women and Monkeys" is installed above the doorway. Only part of the entire installation is visible in the photograph, illustrated above.

Study for The Dance by Matisse

Top: "The Dance (La Danse)," by Henri Matisse, Study for the Barnes Mural (Paris version), gouache and pencil on paper, 11 by 29 7/8 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, 2002

In 1930, an early experiment in what would become Matisse's cut-outs was "The Barnes Mural," a commission to design a mural for the collector and businessman Albert C. Barnes in Merion, Pennsylvania. In order to work on the project at scale, the artist rented a garage in Nice, where he sketched the composition in charcoal and oil on three large canvases. He pinned cut pieces of paper to the canvas, so that he could make changes to the composition. In 1932 a mistake in the dimensions forced him to start over again on new canvases, where he once again used this new cut-paper method. He kept his new technique a secret from everyone but his son and dealer Pierre. However, he later shared photographs of the mural, called "The Dance," with his patron, showing many stages of its development. Photographs in the exhibition reveal how shaping the composition with pieces of cut paper was essential to abstracting the dancers' bodies and flattening the space of one of Matisse's most famous projects, years before he would realize the full potential of his cut-outs. The black and white composition for "The Dance" is illustrated above.

Two Dancers by Matisse

"Two Dancers (Deux Danseurs)," by Henri Matisse, 1937-1938, Stage curtain design for the ballet Rouge et Noir, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, notebook papers, pencil, and thumbtacks 31 9/16 by 25 3/8 inches; Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de creation industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Dation, 1991

The Fall of Icarus by Matisse

"The Fall of Icarus (La Chute d'Icare), " by Henri Matisse, 1943, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and pins, 13 3/4 by 10 5/8 inches, private collection

The exhibition does not include many of the photographs of this world-famous artist that are in the catalogue, showing him working from his bed and favourite armchair. It is a must-read for those that love Matisse's work, a testament to his fighting spirit, and most of all to his love of his work.

Matisse cutting a cut-out at Hotel Regina in Nice

Matisse cutting a cut-out at the Hotel Regina in Nice (from the catalogue)

The photos are not only moving because Matisse was now in old age and clearly challenged with health problems, but because his continued creativity defied the stereotype of age, as so many artists do. The photos were taken by his assistant and muse, Lydia 
Delectorskaya, and family members, close friends and dealers who came to visit him. They are a testament to the imagination and the creative spirit, that finds a way, no matter what obstacles appear in the artists life, to explore  and to "make." A short film shows the master at work with his scissors, playing with his shapes, delighting in the emergence of forms, which he then gives to his assistants to place on the walls that surround him, the space itself becoming a "subject" for the artist:

"As rich a metaphor as the garden is, given the revolutionary activities of the studio, perhaps it is not enough. The studio, we will see in this volume, served many other functions: bedroom, chapel, factory, tailor shop, concert hall, photography studio, aviary, infirmary, stage set, swimming pool, laboratory, subject, and, most of all, ground. As Matisse explained: 'There was a time when I never left my paintings hanging on the wall [of my studio] because they reminded me of moments of overexcitement and I did not like to see them again when I was calm. In the three studios of his final decade the walls did not undermine him, but were the fertile ground for an exceptional body of work." (From the essay, "The Studio as Site and Subject," in the catalogue for this exhibition)

The Wolf by Matisse

"The Wolf (Le Loup)," by Henri Matisse, 1944, Maquette for plate VI from the illustrated book Jazz (1947), gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas, 17 11/16 by 26 7/16 inches, Musée national d'art modern/Centre de creation industrielle, Georges Pompidou, Pation. Dation 1985

For all their playfullness, however, these "forms" - and new art form - have serious undertones, including concerns for family members in the Resistance, expressed in an essay in the catalogue entitled "The Studio As Site and Subject," by Karl Buchberg, Nicholas Cullinan, Jodi Hauptman and Nicholas Serota:

"...The cut-outs emerged as a fully-fledged practice on the precipice, during, and in the wake of war, raising questions about the ways in which Matisse managed to negotiate invention with tragedy: how, under such extraordinarily difficult circumstances, did Matisse devise new solutions to long-studied pictorial problems? How did the work inside the studio continue when the  world seemed to be collapsing around it? In the midst of the war Matisse offered his own take on the urgency of work: 'Each one of us must find his own way to limit the moral shock of this catastrophe. For order to prevent an avalanche overwhelming me, I'm trying to distract myself from it as far as possible to clinging to the idea of the future work I could still do if I don't let myself be destroyed.' Though Matisse himself did not suffer a loss of basic creature comforts, he was keenly aware of his compatriots who did, organizing the delivery of food and supplies to friends and colleagues. Throughout the occupation he endured treacherous travel, as he made his way from Paris south, and deep worry over the arrest of his daughter Marguerite and his estranged wife for their work with the Resistance. In 'Jazz,' the key cut-out project of the war, a sense of the conflict and its resulting deprivation seeped in: Louis Aragon described the yellow bursts in Icarus as 'exploding shells' and Teriade 'was convinced that the earliest Jazz plates - Toboggan, Icarus, Burial of Pierrot - reflected the tragic ambiance of the time in which they were made.' Later commentators found other references from the reading by Riva Castelman of The Wolf a stand-in for the gestapo to the 'acts of aggression' noted by Rebecca Rabinow in The Knife Thrower, The Sword Swallower and The Cowboy. The cut-outs also developed during a time of great physical trial for Matisse when he underwent surgery, a difficult rehabilitation, and, finally, a sense of living on borrowed time. As he recovered, he wrote to his son Pierre: 'It's like being given a second life, which unfortunately can't be a long one'" (previously cited)

These brilliant compositions for "Jazz" did not satisfy Matisse. A tough critic of his work, after they were published in 1947, Matisse felt it was "absolute failure."

"The Toboggan" and "The Wolf" are illustrated here.

The Toboggan by Matisse

"The Toboggan (Le Toboggan)," by Henri Matisse, 1943, Maquette for plate XX from the illustrated book Jazz (1947), Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas, 24 7/8 by 21 inches, Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de creation industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Dation, 1985

Several works by Matisse

By Henri Matisse: Left to right: "Forms (Formes)," 1944, Maquette for plate IX from the illustrated book Jazz (1947); "Pierrot's Funeral (L'Enterrement de Pierrot)," 1943-1944?, Maquette for plate X from the illustrated book Jazz (1947); "The Codomas (Les Codomas)," 1943, Maquette for plate XI from the illustrated book Jazz; "The Swimmer in the Tank," 1944, Maquette for plate XII from the illustrated book Jazz; all are gouache on paper, cut and pasted and mounted on canvas; all from the collection Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de creation industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Dation, 1985

Cover maquettes for Verve

Cover maquettes for the journal "Verve" by Henri Matisse, 1936-1954, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted

Compositions by Matisse

By Henri Matisse: Top:"Composition (The Velvets) (Composition [Les Velours])," 1947, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 20 1/4 by 85 5 /8 inches; Kunstmuseum Basel, Acquired with support from Dr. Richard Doetsch-Benzinger, Basel, and Marguerite Hagenbach, Basel, 1954; Center: "Composition Green Background (Composition Fond Vert)," 1947, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and pencil, 41 by 15 7/8 inches, The Menil Collection, Houston; Right: "Black Boxer (Boxeur Negre)," 1947, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 12 5/8 by 10 1/16 inches, Private Collection, New York

Post-war gouaches by Matisse

"Henri Matisse: The Cutouts:" A wall of Post-War Gouaches On Paper, all created in 1947; Photo Carter B. Horsley

The Thousand and One Nights by Matisse

By Henri Matisse: "The Thousand and One Nights," June 1950, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 54 3/4 by 147 1/4 inches; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Acquired through the generosity of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Family;

Mimosa by Matisse

"Mimosa," by Henri Matisse, 1949-1951, Maquette for rug (realized 1951), gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas, 58 1/4 by 38 9/16 inches, Ikeda Museum of 20th Century Art, Ito, Japan

The Four Rosettes with Blue Motifs by Matisse

"The Four Rosettes with Blue Motifs (Les Quatres Rosaces aux motifs bleus)," by Henri Matisse, 1949-1950, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 14 15/16 by 21 1/4 inches, Collection of Julian Robertson

Surrounded by so many beautiful compositions by Matisse this show gives the viewer a sense of how they must have appeared to the artist, who, literally immersed himself in them. This was his world, born of his imagination, that flourished despite adversity - the war and its side-effects - and failing health.

Snow Flowers and Creole Dancer

By Henri Matisse: Left: "Snow Flowers (Fleurs de neige)," 1951, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on paper, mounted on canvas, 68 1/2 by 31 3/4 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacques and Natasha Gilman Collection, 1998; Center: "Creole Dancer (Danseuse creole)," June 1950, gouache on paper, mounted on canvas, 80 11/16 by 47 1/4 inches, Musee Matisse, Nice. Gift of Henri Matisse, 1953; Left: "Vegetables," 1951, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 68 7/8 by 31 7/8 inches, Private Collection

Zulma by Matisse and Little Girl by Matisse

By Henri Matisse: Left: "Zulma," early 1950, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 93 11/16 by 52 3/8 inches, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Center: "Little Girl, (La Fillette)," c. 1952, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, 60 by 46 1/4 inches, Private collection; Left: "Pale Blue Window (Vitrail bleu pale)," November 1948-January 1949, Second maquette for apse window for the Chapel of the Rosary, Vence; Two part panel: gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on kraft paper mounted on canvas, 200 11/16 by 99 5/16; Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de creation industrielle, Centres Georges Pompidou, Paris. Gift of Mme. Jean Matisse and Gerard Matisse, 1982

Christmas EveNight by Matisse
By Henri Matisse: Left: "Christmas Eve (Nuit de Noel)," 1952, Maquette for stained-glass window (realized 1952), Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on board, 107 by 53 1/2 inches, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of Time Inc.; Right: "Christmas Eve (Nuit de Noel), summer-fall 1952, Stained glass, 11 ' 3/4  by 54 3/4 by 5/8 inches; Fabricator: Paul Bony, Paris, The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Time Inc

Chapel of the Rosary in Vence
An inter-active, digital archive of "The Chapel of the Rosary, Vence," showing the interior installations, vestments, objects - everything - created by Matisse, at "Henri Matisse: The Cutouts," at The Museum of Modern Art.

Matisse created three different versions of the apse windows for The Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, one of the most beautiful confluences of a place of worship, nature, picturesque houses, flawless blue skies - and great restaurants.

Standing inside this exquisite Chapel at the age of 16 is an experience I shall always hold in my heart as one of the most sublime experiences of my life. It was a beautiful summer's day. The quality of light in the South of France is so famous it has inspired exquisite works of art. It was on such a gloriously lit day that I visited the town and the chapel, which, if possible, should be on everyone's Bucket List. I saw it under optimum conditions. The sun filtered through Matisse's stained glass windows, creating such a cornucopia of jewel colors and shapes, it felt like a slice of Heaven.

The cut paper maquettes "Celestial Jerusalem" and "Pale Blue Window" are on view at the MoMA exhibition.
Matisse also cut paper to design the tabernacle and the priests' vestments,
which, when worn, animated the space with color. His drawings of the Madonna and Child, Saint Dominic, and the Stations of the Cross, were fired onto ceramic tiles and installed across the chapel's interior walls. On the occassion of the chapel's consecration, Matisse declared:

 "It is the result of all my active life. Despite all its imperfections, I consider it my masterpiece."

Oceania, The Sky by Matisse
"Oceania, the Sky (Oceanie le ciel)," by Henri Matisse, 1946, (realized as silkscreen 1946), gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on paper, mounted on canvas, 70 3/16 by 145 9/16 inches, Musée departmental Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambresis, Gift of the Matisse family, 2004

Acrobats by Matisse

"Acrobats (Acrobates)," by Henri Matisse, Spring-summer 1952, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and charcoal on white paper, 83 7/8 by 82 inches, private collection

Blue Nudes by Matisse

"Blue Nudes" by Henri Matisse; Left to right: "Blue Nude IV (Nu bleu IV), spring 1952, Paris, Musée d'Orsay, depot au Musée Marisse/Nice. Gift of Mme Jean Matisse, 1979; "Blue Nude I (Nu bleu I), spring 1952, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Beyeler Collection; "Blue Nude II (Nu bleu II),"
spring 1952, Musée national d'art modrne/Centre de creation industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Purchase, 1984; "Blue Nude III (Nu bleu III)," spring 1952, Musée national d'art modrne/Centre de creation industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Purchase, 1982

Matisse first learned the "form" of the amazing "Blue Nudes," illustrated above, with pencil and ink. When he mastered them, he moved to the cut-outs. His assistant and secretary Lydia Delectorskaya recalled: "Each on a different day, they had been cut in one line, with one stroke of the scissor, in ten minutes or fifteen at the maximum."

Matisse was a tough taskmaster - on himself - and 
therefore possibly oblivious to how hard he pushed his assistants:

"The process was arduous. Matisse laboured for a number of weeks, relentlessly revising. His studio assistant at the time, Paule Martin, pushed by Matisse to work with equal rigour, describes the tense conditions: 'Whereas subsequent forms were cut in a single movement, the first figure demanded such patience and attention on Matisse's part, but also from me, that it exhausted me and I was on the brink of collapse. He made me pin tiny squares of paper to enhance the curvature of the thigh or some other part of the body, then remove parts of the figure to remove colour strips, then set it back in place as my febrile fingers fumbled with the pins.'" (from the chapter "Bodies and Waves" by Jodi Hauptman in the exhibition catalogue, "Henri Matisse: The Cutouts")

The Wave and Venus by Matisse

By Henri Matisse: Top left: "The Wave (La Vague), circa 1952, Musée Matisse, Nice, Gift of the artist's estate, 1963; Lower left: "Venus (Venus)," circa 1952, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Alisa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1973; Center left: "Woman with Amphora (Femme a l'amphore), 1953, Musée national d'art moderne/Centre d creation industrielle,  Georges Pompidou, Paris. Depot au Musée Matisse, Nice; Center Right: "Woman with Amphora and Pomegranates (Femme a l'amphore et grenades)," 1953, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alisa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1973; Right:  "Standing Blue Nude (Nu bleu debout)," 1952, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, 2002
The great thing about museums is that they can take you right into the "internal" space of an artist. Matisse externalized his "inner space" into his limited physical space - his apartment/studio -  when he was prevented by his physical inabilities from moving around extensively.

In the chapter "The Studio As Site and Subject" in the catalogue - and directly under a photograph taken by Lydia Delectorskaya at the Hotel Regina c. 1953 - featuring Matisse lying in bed with his back to the camera, the artist has his head down, absorbed in creating something small with both hands. His bed is facing a wall of his own portraits, paintings, and a large cut-out peeking up from behind a screen.

It is a composition Matisse could have rendered masterfully in his youth, with paints and brushes:

"'It is as if Matisse, having theorized about the decorative, now decided to take an interest in interior decoration," Isabel Manod-Fontaine suggests, adding that "Fabrics could be arranged and rearranged at will using a series of curtain rods and uprights, a platform covered with additional fabrics and rugs, a mattress or couch, cushions, folding screens, lifts. Where painting the studio once meant painting a picture of the studio, in the case of the cut-outs it meant applying coloured paper to the walls of the studio. The studio went from being the subject to being the support...In trying to understand Matisse's approach, to get at the multivalent meanings of the cut-outs, our aim and challenge is to return to that lively and ever-changing garden that was his studio, where the walls often served as a blank canvas for Matisse's increasingly prolific and all-encompassing inventions. This goal is based on our conviction that the cut-outs have two lives. The first was in the studio, where, pinned to walls, contingent and mutable, their painted surfaces exhibited intense colour, texture and materiality, curled off the walls and shifted in position over time; where forms and groups of forms related to each other; where the walls facilitated pictorial expansion beyond the confines of an easel picture's frame; where they challenged the rules of architecture, sometimes ignoring structural guideposts like moulding, panelling, doors, mantels, heaters and windows, and paid little distinction to walls and floor; and where they were lived in and among, resulting in something closer to installation than painting. Their second life when they left the studio; when they were made permanent and given a final form, via gluing and mounting, framing and glazing...."

This essay was written by Karl Buchberg, Nicholas Cullinan, Jodi Hauptman and Nicholas Serota, who (as the conservators and curators of the show) write:

"A collaboration between curators and conservators, this investigation focuses squarely on the physicality of Matisse's work in his last decade and the process of making:  what exactly is this thing called a cut-out? What is the nature of the particular materials and how are they used? On that score, we believe that the lessons of the cut-outs rest not only in their finished product or state but also, and even more, in their making. How can we return to the studio, to its impermanence and change, its experimentation, its liveliness?"

I believe they achieved this (as much as is possible without the artist himself being present) at this - lively and wonderful - exhibition.

The Parakeet and the Mermaid by Matisse

"The Parakeet and the Mermaid (La Perruche et la sirene)," by Henri Matisse, 1952, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and charcaoal on white paper, 132 11/16 by 302 9/16 inches, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Acquired with the assistance of the Vereeniging Rembrandt and the Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds

The wall text at the exhibition gives context to "The Parakeet and the Mermaid (La Perruche et la sirene)":

"In Matisse's studio at the Hotel Regina, in Nice, the leaves and pomegranates of the Parakeet and the Mermaid developed across a corner to cover two walls. Matisse spread the vibrantly colored forms from left to right without regard for the presence of a radiator, creating an immersive environment. 'I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk," Matisse said. 'There are leaves, fruits, a bird.' ...Before settling on the mermaid at the work's upper right, Matisse experimented with various forms in the same place, some of which would later become discrete cut-outs. Photographs reproduced here show that he tried Venus, Blue Nude II, and Standing Blue Nude (all on view in a previous gallery). This kind of substitution was characteristic of Matisse's process; he constantly shifted elements within and between works. Eventually, he came to identify with the bird on the left side of this cut-out: 'I became a parakeet. And I found myself in the work.'"

Memory of Oceania by Matisse

"Memory of Oceania (Souvenir d'Oceanie)," by Henri Matisse, summer 1952-early 1953, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and charcoal on paper mounted on canvas, 9 feet 4 inches by 9 feet 4 7/8 inches, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, 1968

"The Snail" by Matisse

"The Snail (L'Escargot)," by Henri Matisse, 1953, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on paper mounted on canvas; 112 3/4 by 113 inches; Tate. Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1962

It seems appropriate to let the artist have the last words about his work. This quote is from "Inventing a New Operation," in the exhibition catalogue.

To see what Mattise is saying here, it helps to watch the absolutely inspiring and wonderful short film, "Matisse (rushes), circa 1950, (16mm film transferred to video, color, silent 8 min) by Frederic Rossif, at the show:

"It is no longer the brush that slips and slides over the canvas, it is the scissors that cut into the paper and into the colour. The conditions of the journey are 100 per cent different. The contour of the figure springs from the discovery of the scissors that give it the movement of circulating life. This tool doesn't modulate, it doesn't brush on, but it incises in, underline this well, because the criteria of observation will be different."

-- Henri Matisse

Ivy in Flower by Matisse

Left, previously illustrated and described; Right:"Ivy In Flower (Lierre en fleur)," by Henri Matisse, 1953, maquette for stained-glass window (realized 1956), Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and pencil on colored paper; 111 7/8 by 112 5/8 inches; Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Gift of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation  

"Henri Matisse: The Cutouts," is organized by The Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Tate Modern, London. It is organized at MoMA by Karl Buchberg, Senior Conservator, and Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, with Samantha Friedman, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints. Before its presentation at MoMA the show was on view at Tate Modern from April 17 to September 2014.

Timed tickets are required for the exhibition,  on view from October 12, 2014- February 8, 2015. The show was a blockbuster hit in London, so advanced ticket purchase is recommended, available through at 

Michele Leight also reviewed the 2003 exhibition Matisse/Picasso that was held at the Tate Modern in London and the Museum of Modern Art in Long Island City

Click here to order the exhibition catalogue from

Home Page of The City Review