Writing a review of a movie about the French master artist Henri Matisse seems inappropriate without using a paint brush.
Although the fascinating film – focused on an exhibit of work in his final years – is about his extraordinary use of color, the story contains many wonderful quotes.
“All of my efforts,” he said
of these works, “are exploring, without brutality, the maximum force of color.”
In the last 10 years of his life, Matisse, often confined to a wheelchair or bed, would cut vibrantly colored paper to be assembled by his assistants into his exhibited pieces, named the Cutouts.
Some of his most famous pieces, the Blue Nudes I-IV (1952) and The Dance came from this period and are analyzed by experts from The Tate Modern in London and MOMA in New York.
Of the figures, said one, referring to another nude titled Zulma (1950), “the lines of the legs and arms seem liberated, freed from limits by the paper.”
But the film keeps drawing us in with Matisse’s narrated words as we cruise the works in the Tate show.
A sampling below:
“There are always flowers for
those who want to see them.”
“From the moment I (first) held the colors in my hand, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges toward the thing it loves.”
“Don’t wait for inspiration, it comes while one is working.”
“Nothing can be accomplished without love.”