Sunday, June 11, 2006Sunday, November 26, 2006
Book Arts Gallery 369
Published in Paris in 1947, Henri Matisse’s Jazz is celebrated today as one of the great masterworks of twentieth-century graphic art. This large-format limited edition artist’s book features 20 brilliantly colored pochoir (stencil) prints and an extensive lithographed text reproduced from the artist’s handwritten original.
In the early 1940s, while recuperating from a serious illness, Matisse found himself unable to paint and began to work in a technique he had devised years earlier as a way to develop ideas for his paintings and design projects. Known as papier découpée, or paper cut-outs, the technique involved the cutting and collaging of hand-painted paper into two-dimensional designs. He called his work “drawing with scissors.”
Matisse, who often drew inspiration from music and dance, once described the series of designs he created for Jazz as "chromatic and rhythmic improvisations" and noted that the subjects, “with their lively and violent tones, derive from crystallisations of memories of circuses, folktales and voyages.”