Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs

*Zulma*

Henri Matisse. Zulma. 1950

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Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Zulma. Early 1950. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 93 11/16 × 52 3/8″ (238 × 133 cm). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

GLENN LOWRY: In this work, Matisse explored a new a direction for the cut-outs: figuration. Here, we see him working with the idea of recognizable forms and using cut paper to create a scene.

SAMANTHA FRIEDMAN: Zulma is a work that has a closer relationship to an easel painting than many of the other cut-outs. We see a woman in a room. She has an orange stripe down her middle and blue sides, a black haircut. And we see her between two tables, clearly in an interior with a vase of flowers beside her.

JODI HAUPTMAN: The table, if you look closely, he's cut it in perspective. It's the one work, I think, in the whole exhibition where you have a very definite sense of depth, the way you would in a traditional painting. That placement of the table is what gives that work this idea that, okay, you know where the figure is in space; you know where the table is. Because he's created a space.

GLENN LOWRY: Matisse had many visitors to his studio during this period of his creative life. His assistant Jacqueline Duhême remembers one fellow artist in particular:

JACQUELINE DUHEME: Picasso was very jealous! He was really struck by the paper cut-outs. He said, ‘He is crafty as a monkey! This is a wonderful find!’. He was struck by Matisse’s invention. He thought it was genius. He said ‘At his age, he still comes up with things like that. It gives me hope!'

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Zulma. Early 1950. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 93 11/16 × 52 3/8″ (238 × 133 cm). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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