Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs @ Tate Modern, London
In his late sixties, when ill health first prevented Matisse from painting, he began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make drafts for a number of commissions. In time, Matisse chose cut-outs over painting: he had invented a new medium. From snowflowers to dancers, circus scenes and a famous snail, the exhibition showcases a dazzling array of 120 works made between 1936 and 1954. Bold, exuberant and often large in scale, the cut-outs have an engaging simplicity coupled with incredible creative sophistication.
Joyful and magical exhibition, me thinks. I urge you to go. But brace yourself for an explosion of colours… Maybe even wear sunglasses? You’ll look like an obnoxious ass but that might very well be the smart choice to make, if you ask me.
Sidenote: If you own little people and want to introduce them to fine art without scarring them for life, that’s definitely the exhibition for you — they’re going to love it (or at least, not be bored out of their minds by it). I remember when I was little and my mother decided that it was time for my sister and me to see some art stuff. She woke up one morning in a panic, grabbed us by the hand, dragged us to the Louvres and, while we were firmly in her grip (handcuffs might have been involved), she made us run through every single fucking room of the museum, having us repeat the same motions over and over again: look right look left look up (the ceiling, where the naked cherubs live), next room, look right look left look up, next room, look right look left look up, and so on and so forth… We did that for two consecutive days (oh my god, Le Louvres is fucking gigantic). And yet, we still managed to miss both the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Oh mum, Oh sweet clueless mum, thanks for trying, I guess?