There has been a lot of excitement around the opening of the exhibition Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. The Museum has been teeming with energetic visitors who see it and walk away feeling buoyed and inspired. We anticipated that this would be a common response to the exhibition, so over the past few months, in dialogue with the exhibition curators—Karl Buchberg, Jodi Hauptman, and Samantha Friedman—we have been designing educational programming that can complement a visitor’s experience in the galleries and provide an outlet for the creative energy that Matisse’s cut-outs generate. The result of this process is MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out, a free interactive and social space that takes the cut-out as a starting point from which to consider Matisse’s lasting influence on contemporary art and culture.
Together with the artists Carlos Amorales, Sarah Crowner, Arturo Herrera, Amy Jacobs of Dieu Donné, and Elaine Reichek, we have put together a series of ongoing activities and artist-led workshops that explore how the innovative technique of the cut-out emerges across different mediums and relates to ideas including the decorative, the evolving nature of an artwork, and the boundary between abstraction and figuration.
MoMA Studio is located on the mezzanine level of MoMA’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building and includes three interactive artist installations that have a permanent presence in the space. Each of these projects—an inspiration wall and fabric collage activity designed by Reichek; a collective, stamp-based mural by Amorales; and a bookmaking activity modeled after an artist’s book by Herrera—offers opportunities for visitors of all ages to make art and discover new insights in an open and accessible environment. Since last Thursday when the Studio opened to the public, we have been inspired by the range of creative responses that these installations and art-making activities have generated: several visitors have devoted whole afternoons constructing elaborate, multipage books using a range of materials and paper ephemera; others have created visual stories using surprising combinations of stamps on the mural; and still more have composed intricately collaged swatches from felt and fabric.
We are eager to see how the Studio will evolve as more visitors interact with the installations, experiment with materials, and add their creations. Join us to take part in the process or, if you can’t make it to MoMA, share images of your own cut-outs using the hashtag #MoMAStudio to add them to the MoMA Studio Tagboard page that is on view in the space.
For more information on MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out, including a schedule of accompanying talks and workshops, visit MoMA.org/MoMAstudio.