Remain Often in Bed

Matisse – Circus, 1943

“The cut out was not a renunciation of painting and sculpture: he called it “painting with scissors.” Matisse said, “Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated.” Moreover, experimentation with cut-outs offered Matisse innumerable opportunities to fashion a new, aesthetically pleasing environment: “You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk… There are leaves, fruits, a bird.” [On Matisse’s Cutouts]

Matisse Still Life on a Blue Table 1947

“A painter is no more the master in his studio than outside. The artist needs to represent things in a frame which corresponds to his feelings. If it is clouds, horses, it is the same law. The artist goes outside. He sees something which enriches him. He re-enters to his home. His objects, the understanding of the object profits from what he has seen. I made a picture, a young girl before a window. I left it in order to go to the pacific islands, to take the boat, to go to New York, a magnificent city, the buildings so big made the blue sky look higher. I crossed America. I have been in Chicago, Los Angeles. I didn’t want to see Niagara Falls because I had seen it too much in photos. I have been to San Francisco. I left for Tahiti. I saw a vegetation completely different, all sorts of things, extremely beautiful and curious. I have been in the atolls where the air is of such purity without any dust. The fish are of all colors. I returned by the Panama Canal, stopped at Martinique and Guadalupe and came back to Marseille. I came back to my studio and looked at my painting again and finished it. Sometime after I made a decoration for Barnes. There I expressed what I had felt during my voyage and I owe to this voyage what I made. It is not the subject which counts. 
The subject puts you on the road, but it doesn’t count.” [Matisse interviewed by Jerome Seckler]

Matisse Le Clown 1947

“No, I don’t use color scientifically. And I have no theory of color. I haven’t any theory, even of drawing. That comes only from what I know what to look forward to. I work while waiting what will come. When I began painting, I copied the paintings in the Louvre and I finished by clarifying all that I thought and to see that color is a very beautiful thing. Why mix up the colors. Why trouble with all that. Why not utilize these colors as they are naturally. I searched for my combinations with combinations of colors which do not destroy themselves. In my [spirit], perspective is made in my head and not on the paper. That depends on you and the ideas you have. The most simple things are the most difficult. Can one understand why one doesn’t make the perspective like the Italians? The primitives also didn’t have perspective. One must see the colors as sonorities. A musical chord has a particular expression. You have the harmonies of colors, which have particular resonances. All music is made with seven notes. With that, one makes all the relations. Painting is the same thing.” [Matisse in conversation with Jerome Seckler]

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