December 9, 2014  |  Learning and Engagement
Making Art Beyond the Cut-Out
MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out visitor. Photo: Manuel Martagon. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out visitor. Photo: Manuel Martagon. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Over the last month and a half, MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out has been animated by a constant flow of creative visitors working on the various activities offered in the space, which range from stamping to collaging to bookmaking. One of the most rewarding aspects of the Studio is the way that each visitor’s approach to the art-making prompts reveals an inventive interpretation and a personal take on the Studio’s themes, yet also resonates with the aesthetic and intentions of Matisse’s dynamic cut-outs.

Below we’ve highlighted a few of the many works of art that visitors have created and shared on the Studio walls in the Education Building’s mezzanine. We invite you to take inspiration from these as you think about what you will make on your next visit to MoMA Studio or in your own art-making spaces.


Arturo Herrera’s activity, Exploring the Cut-Out through Bookmaking, has given rise to an unbelievable array of intricate artist’s books. The example shown in the video above is a visitor-made book that thoughtfully layers cut pages to create movement, to cover images with patterns, and to frame images that follow. The result is a creation that presents a surprise with every turn of a page.

Carlos Amorales’s interactive installation “Stamping a Collective Mural.” Detail. Photo: Alison Burstein, 2014

Carlos Amorales’s interactive installation Stamping a Collective Mural (detail). Photo: Alison Burstein, 2014

For Carlos Amorales’s interactive installation, Stamping a Collective Mural, visitors can pick imagery from a pile of over 300 stamps, all of which are part of the artist’s Liquid Archive project. Though the artist uses imagery from the Liquid Archive in a number of his own artworks, the combinations visitors are generating represent entirely new pairings or hybrid forms—such as the line of alternating figures (above) who appear to be dancing against a vibrating background.


On November 20, artist Sarah Crowner led the workshop Staging the City with Cut-Outs, during which participants transformed the artist’s enormous curtain by adding cut-out imagery to it (shown in the video above). At the close of the day, participants showcased the finished product—adorned with all-over composition featuring figures, buildings, elements from nature, and abstract forms—in motion as they carried it through the space.</object>

Visitors' collages made as part of Elaine Reichek’s interactive installation “Le Métier de Matisse.” Photo: Alison Burstein, 2014

Visitors’ collages made as part of Elaine Reichek’s interactive installation Le Métier de Matisse. Photo: Alison Burstein, 2014

After looking at Elaine Reichek’s Le Métier de Matisse installation, visitors can make their own fabric collages by combining different materials, patterns, and colors. In the examples above, the play between narrative scenes, abstract cut-outs, and patterned compositions gives a sense of the limitless creative possibilities that the everyday materials offer in this activity.

If you can’t make it to MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out in person but want to make your own fabric collage, start by collecting scraps, such as swatches cut from old pieces of clothing, samples of fabric from an interior design store, or pieces of felt or other craft supplies. Next, play with the elements of color, texture, and form as you cut shapes and layer different pieces together to create your composition. Glue (or pin like Matisse) the fabric pieces to a card-stock paper, or sew the elements together with embroidery thread to finish.

We look forward to seeing the cut-out creations you make on your own or at MoMA Studio. Remember to share images using #MoMAStudio and visit the MoMA Studio Tagboard page to see a rotating selection of projects.

For more information on MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out, including a schedule of accompanying workshops, visit