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On Thursday, April 17, “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” will open at the Tate Modern in London. Late in Henri Matisse's career, when poor health prevented him from painting, he developed his cut-out technique, which involved cutting organic shapes out of painted sheets of paper and turning them into lively compositions on his studio’s walls. The process gave Matisse a renewed sense of freedom and he lauded the technique for its immediacy and simplicity, which he believed helped him express his artistic urgencies more completely.

The exhibition, which features 120 works made between 1936 and 1954, will be the largest and most extensive presentation of these unique, and often large-scale, masterpieces. Many of the cut-outs are being loaned from public and private collections around the world. “The Snail,” from the Tate’s own collection, will be exhibited alongside its sister work “Memory of Oceania,” from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection in New York, and “Large Composition with Masks,” from the National Gallery of Art’s collection in Washington, D.C. A photograph of Matisse’s studio reveals that these works were initially conceived as a unified whole and this is the first time they will have been together in over 50 years.  

When the exhibition’s run in London ends on September 7, “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” will travel to the Museum of Modern Art where it will be on view from October 25, 2014 through February 8, 2015.

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The Tate Modern in London has announced that they will present the largest exhibition of Henri Matisse’s (1869-1954) late works. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs will feature 120 of the artist’s paper cut-outs made between 1943 and 1954, when his health was diminishing and he found himself unable to paint.

Matisse’s first cut-outs were made between 1943 and 1947 and were presented together in Jazz 1947, a book of 20 plates. Copies of the book along with text handwritten by Matisse will be shown alongside the original compositions. Other highlights from the exhibition include the Tate’s own The Snail, the Museum of Modern Art’s Memory of Oceania, and the National Gallery of Art’s Large Composition with Masks. The exhibition will stand as a testament to the importance of the final chapter in Matisse’s long and influential career.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs will be on view from April 17, 2014 though September 7, 2014.

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