One of the most-loved artworks of the twentieth century
With its intense colours and spontaneity, Henri Matisse’s Jazz communicates an exceptional sense of joy and freedom. Matisse made this illustrated book late in his life, when he could no longer paint. Confined to bed, he cut shapes from coloured paper and arranged them as collages. Love, death and fate are Matisse’s great themes: his enjoyment of the circus and the theatre is reflected in the work, as well as the influence of his trip to Tahiti in 1930. Exhibited alongside Matisse’s work are paintings by Richard Killeen and quilts by Rarotongan tivaevae artists Rangi Oberg and Esetera Roriki, which stake a claim for the tradition of cut-outs from the South Pacific.
Jazz travels to Christchurch from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
- Exhibition number: 1038
Join Visitor Programmes and Education Team Leader Lana Coles as she discusses Matisse's Jazz series on the ground floor.
Dr Rodney T. Swan describes how French artist Henri Matisse used his revolutionary cut-out technique to create Jazz, one of the best-known illustrated books of the twentieth century. Rodney will reveal the coded messages that Matisse embedded in his colourful and vibrant images to avoid the Nazi censors and to protest the German occupation of France.
Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs was hailed as the most successful exhibition in Tate Modern’s history.