Author(s): Neret Gilles
A perfect synthesis of colour and line The trailblazing paper cut-outs of Henri Matisse When Henri Matisse (1869 1954) was forced to give up painting completely in the mid-1940s due to a serious illness, he began to work with painted paper and a pair of scissors, cutting out forms at will. These works, called gouaches decoupees ( gouache cut-outs ), represented a revolution in modern art. In 1947 Matisse published his works in an unusual album called Jazz rhythmic colour improvisations imbued with a shrill vitality, comparable with the jazz improvisations of Louis Armstrong or Charlie Parker. Matisse a remarkable man who was scarcely able to leave his bed and already considered lost to the world of painting had thus found a way of outsmarting fate and creating a perfect synthesis of colour and line. Many critics at the time were unstinting in their cruel remarks about the supposed foolishness of an old man. Today, no one would deny that Matisse had found a brilliant means of uniting line and colour that constituted a highpoint in his artistic ambitions. About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN s Basic Art Series features: a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance a concise biography approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions"