A Contemplative Look At Henri Matisse Essay — страница 3

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standardize his signs. We can see this development in the painting “Woman in Blue.” The painting, while starting very detailed and true to life, is gradually simplified. Detail was removed, as was a specific sense of viewpoint. The end result is a rather distilled ensemble of signs that are have an active role in justifying their surrounding space. Also, a larger focus was placed on plain areas of bright color, and to patterning in a rhythmic sense. From the 1920s until his death, Matisse spent much time in the south of France, particularly Nice, painting local scenes with a thin, fluid application of bright color. In his old age, he was commissioned to design the decoration of the small Chapel of Saint-Marie du Rosaire at Vence (near Cannes), which he completed between 1947

and 1951. Often bedridden during his last years, he occupied himself with decoupage, creating works of brilliantly colored paper cutouts arranged casually, but with an unfailing eye for design, on a canvas surface. Eventually, this would lead into Matisse’s most distinctive style, and perhaps the one that he is best known for. It was the very end of the 1930’s that Matisse began using decoupage as a medium for expression of his creativity. He was able to push his previous ideas of de-naturalization even further than before. This was the final drift away from nature. His paper cut-outs were not based on direct perception at all, but rather on memory, imagery, and myth. From the start the cut paper was seen as abstract signs for objects, and not the objects themselves. With

this, Matisse was able to eliminate the painting process, which allowed him to simultaneously draw and color. He no longer applied color to a surface, but put pre-colored cut papers on a surface. He referred to the process as drawing with scissors, “one movement linking line with color, contour with surface. The art of cutting, however, was only part of it. Matisse still set his forms within a context. This is the explanation for the discontinuity found in some of his cut paper works, because of the delay between the shaping of the form and its placement within the picture. Most of his works were experimented upon before he came out with the final product. Mechanically, he would put paste on the cut paper, then push it into place with a pin. If it worked, he would leave it, and

if it didn’t, he would lift the paper back out and place it elsewhere. Also, every time the artist cut out a piece of paper, there was the negative image that he had cut it from. He was able to store these away, and even use some in later works. Another difference between these works and some of his earlier ones is the sense of time. While in previous images, there was a sense of continuity in time, and passage of such, in these everything happened at once, and there was more of a discontinuity. Toward the end of his life, Matisse realized that this was the style he had been searching for. He gave new form to his older paintings. In “Amphitrite” of 1947, he brings back some of his older mythological ideas, and in “Christmas Eve,” he reverts to his later, floral and

rythmic patterns. One can believe that the style that Matisse finally settled upon was the one that he was meant for, because as he had said earlier in his life he had, “an unconscious belief in a future life…some paradise where I shall paint frescoes…” Matisse died in Nice on November 3, 1954. Unlike many artists, he was internationally popular during his lifetime, enjoying the favor of collectors, art critics, and the younger generation of artists. When Henri Matisse died, it came with no great surprise. Since 1941, Matisse experienced tremendous failing health, and had become bedridden often throughout many of his illnesses. His passing was deeply felt throughout the art community. He had been an important figure and idol to so many for so long. Even though it has been

many years since the artist has died, his picture of dancers in celestial settings continue to baffle us and one often wonders if Matisse has ever really left us.