Studio Sunday: Henri Matisse
This week’s Studio Sunday artist is Henri Matisse. Matisse was a French artist, known in his earlier years as a highly experimental painter and later upheld as one of the forefathers of modern art. The artist spent most of his life living and working in the city of Nice.
Matisse’s studio space here has a lovely, homey feeling to it. The photo is completed with the artist’s wheelchair, right where it probably would have sat while Matisse was in it, working. The photo was taken during the last period of Matisse’s career, when the artist was based in the Hôtel Régina in Nice. During this period, the artist was particularly interested in cut-outs, that is, brightly colored collages that formed simple figures, reflective of the artist’s paintings. Matisse employed a number of studio assistants to help him in his later years.
One entire wall of this studio space appears to be devoted to cut-out pieces – in fact, it’s almost wallpapered in them. It’s actually a great touch, and adds a sense of fun and brightness to the studio. The works on the far wall seem focused on the human figure, with feminine forms appearing to dance all the way up to the ceiling. I like the way the natural wood of the artist’s furniture (his chairs and desk) contrasts with the airy, white walls of studio space.