Matisse: Drawing with Scissors

Installation view: Matisse: Drawing with Scissors Late Works 1950 - 1954, a Hayward Touring exhibition
Installation view: Matisse: Drawing with Scissors Late Works 1950 - 1954, a Hayward Touring exhibition. From Henri Matisse, Verve, Lithographic reproductions, 1952 © Succession H. Matisse / DACS 2012. Photo © Colin Davison

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, features 35 lithographic prints of the famous cut-outs

Produced in the last four years of his life, when the artist was confined to his bed, and includes many of his iconic images, such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes.

The French painter, sculptor and designer, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was one of the 20th century's most influential artists. He continued creating highly original works well into his eighties. 

Matisse’s vibrant works are celebrated for their extraordinary richness and luminosity of colour.  For his cut-outs he used paper that had been hand-painted with gouache, laid down in abstract or figurative patterns: 'the paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour... Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it... I draw straight into the colour'. The colours he used were so strong that he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses.

In 1905 Matisse and his colleagues were branded the Fauves (wild beasts) because of their unconventional use of colour, and it was during this time that he painted his celebrated Luxe, Calme et Volupté (Luxury, Tranquillity and Delight). 'There is no gap between my earlier pictures and my cut-outs', Matisse wrote; 'I have only reached a form reduced to the essential through greater absoluteness and greater abstraction'.

The lithographic reproductions in this exhibition are taken from a special double issue of Verve in 1958, which was a review of art and literature, published by Tériade, a major publisher of fine art books. 

Work with us

Exhibition available from early December 2024 to late January 2025 and from mid May 2025

  • Size: 
    35 prints
  • Fee:
    £750 plus VAT for a four-week showing (financial year 2024/25)
  • Gallery requirements: 
    35 metres of hanging space
    Security Category C
  • Education resources: 
    Includes an education and research pack
  • Copyright:
    The Exhibitor will need to clear copyright and pay for a licence prior to reproduction through DACS (Design & Artists Copyright Society)

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