The Poster Journal

Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs opens at MoMA

To celebrate the opening of Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs at MoMA this week we have released a special selection of exquisite Matisse posters for our online customers. These pieces have long been part of our New York City Gallery archive but are now available online for all to share and enjoy. The posters are faithful exhibition prints depicting the vibrant color and bold lines synonymous with Matisse’s oeuvre.

The Cut-Out exhibition at MoMA is a rich and thoughtful exploration of the latter part of Matisse's influential career. In 1941 Matisse was diagnosed with cancer and following surgery started using a wheelchair, despite such unfortunate circumstances the artist's creativity and pursuit for inventive forms was not dampened. In fact, it was a period fueled with new and unexpected energies, realized after a culmination of half a century of work.  With the help of Lydia Delectorskaya and other assistants Matisse set out to create detailed paper collages that were often vast in scale and rich in color. To exchange the paintbrush for a pair of scissors was a bold gesture at that time inaugurating a new radical phase in the artists career. Though it was not a complete renunciation of painting and sculpture, rather he called the work "painting with scissors." The cut-outs have come to be regarded as some of Matisse's most admired and inventive works making the exhibition at MoMA one not to be missed.

The following exhibition posters from the 1950’s promote Matisse’s early Cut-Out works, they measure 13 x 10 inches and are $70.00 each. 

The first poster in this list promotes an exhibition in Paris showing  Jazz which was the first manifestation of Matisse's paper cut-out series . While the cut-outs were made during the war they were only collated and published in book form until 1947. The book, consisting of 20 color plates aided with pages of handwritten text was only printed in one hundred copies.  Revealed on each page are lively colorful forms both abstract and figurative that clearly evoke the musical genre's chromatic and rhythmic improvisation.