Nu bleu aux bas verts, 1952

by

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Nu bleu aux bas verts, 1952

Gouache sur papier découpé et collé sur fond de papier vélin marouflé sur toile

258 x 167 cm

Collection Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

© Succession H. Matisse © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

De gauche à droite :

Henri Matisse, Nu bleu aux bas verts, 1952

Kiki Smith,  Annunciation, 2010

Kiki Smith, Visitation of the Bird, 2007

Collection de la Fondation Louis Vuitton

© Succession H. Matisse © Kiki Smith

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

De gauche à droite :

Mark Bradford, Reports of the Rain, 2014

Henri Matisse, Nu bleu aux bas verts, 1952

Kiki Smith, Annunciation, 2010

Kiki Smith, Visitation of the Bird, 2007

Collection de la Fondation Louis Vuitton

© 2018 Mark Bradford © Succession H. Matisse © Kiki Smith

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Henri Matisse began working with paper cut-outs in the early 1930s for La Danse, his monumental project for the Barnes Foundation.

The use of scissors allowed Matisse to “draw straight into colour”, or “cut directly into colour”. With these shapes coloured in gouache, he studied different compositions by freely repositioning his shapes. As of 1943 (the year he made Jazz, an art book published by Tériade in 1947), this technique acquired a particular importance in his work. For Matisse, it resolved the relationship between colour and line – a problem that pervades all his work and theoretical thinking.

 

Contemporary with the famous Nus Bleus of 1952, Nu bleu aux bas verts was a model for a lithograph published by Tériade in Verve magazine in 1954. It depicts a dancer in three-quarter view. Her legs are green up to the mid-thighs and her forearms are fuchsia. These colours accentuate the figure's dynamism and the sense of weightlessness she gives off. The plant motif on the right completes the composition and suggests through colour and formal connections an equivalence between human and plant.

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Henri Matisse

Born in 1869 in Cateau-Cambrésis (France), died in 1954 in Nice (France)

The leader of fauvism and the master of the 20th century modern movement, Henri Matisse played an important role through his stylised forms and the way he married colour and design.
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