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The Wick - Dream Henri Matisse

Dream Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse, Polynesia, the Sea, 1946
Image: Musée d’Art Moderne de Troyes, Troyes, France

In the late 1940s, too weak to paint, Henri Matisse pioneered a new art form that came to be known as ‘cut-outs’. These consisted of painted sheets of paper, which he cut into various forms, and then arranged into joyous compositions.

Celebrated for his innovative approach to form, line and colour, Matisse described the process of making these works as both ‘cutting directly into colour’ and ‘drawing with scissors.’

The distinctive imagery of Polynesia, the Sea was likely inspired by the artist’s trip to Tahiti 15 years earlier. ‘It’s curious that all these enchantments of the sky and sea hardly inspired me right off,’ Matisse told Brassaï in 1946.

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