Pulsing with vibrant flourishes of improvised colour and syncopated rhythms, Jazz, 1947 captures the vivacity of circuses, bars and music halls and the artist’s memories of his travels, as well as the horrors of World War II.
One of the most pivotal works of Henri Matisse’s celebrated late period, Jazz is recognised as a major turning point in 20th-century art. Matisse made the cut-outs on which these colour plates are based aged 74 when he was bedridden with cancer and could no longer paint. Unable to sleep, he often worked on these collages through the night, cutting and re-arranging pieces of colourful paper to ‘paint with scissors’.
Published as a book in 1947, the resulting 20 stencilled collages in Jazz dance with pages of the artist’s swirling text, offering up a floating world of memories and sensations. The hovering forms in Le lagon [The Lagoon] recall ‘the shimmering colours of the tropics’ that the artist saw while travelling in Tahiti in 1930, while a circus performer glides through a water tank in La nageuse dans l’aquarium [The Female Swimmer in the Tank].
Les lagon [The Lagoon], 1944
from: Jazz 1947
23.9 x 15.2cm (image only)
27.8 x 35.2 x 0.1cm (including white matting)
made in New Zealand
Unframed prints can be shipped both nationally and internationally, framed prints are only available to be shipped within Aotearoa, New Zealand.