Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (Kids)

Materials and Process

Materials and Process 91

Matisse in front of gouache-painted papers, Hôtel Régina, Nice. Photo: Lydia Delectorskaya. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse

NARRATOR: Do you have a favorite color? Look for it inside the glass case. Matisse loved bright colors. In his studio, he had 17 different shades of orange alone!

Matisse had studio assistants help him make the cut-outs. First, they painted sheets of paper in bright colors like these. Then Matisse would cut shapes from the painted paper. Sometimes the shapes were so big, an assistant would have to hold the paper for him while he cut. He said that when his scissors glided through the paper, it felt like flying.

Wind noise/some kind of sound or musical rise that evokes that sense of flying.

NARRATOR: He also spent a lot of time putting colors next to each other to see how they looked. Sometimes they went together perfectly.

Musical Ta-dah!!

NARRATOR: And sometimes they didn’t look very good.

Musical wah-wah to evoke failure.

NARRATOR: Sometimes he would settle on something he liked, and go to bed.

Quiet, subtle snoring.

NARRATOR: Then he’d wake up and change his mind.

Waking snuffle.

NARRATOR: And he’d start moving the colored shapes around again. He used pins to arrange the pieces and hold them, so he could change things easily. As you go through the exhibition, see if you can find tiny holes in the paper where the pins used to be.

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