Henri Matisse (1869–1954) was one of the most innovative painters of the twentieth century but for the last seventeen years of his life turned to an entirely new approach to making work, cutting shapes from painted paper.

Health problems in the early 1940s limited his mobility, but as his strength declined, the ambition and scale of his new cut-out method increased. This exhibition explores the development of the cut-outs.

It is no longer the brush that slips and slides over the canvas, it is the scissors that cut into the paper and into the colour. The conditions of the journey are 100 per cent different. The contour of the figure springs from the discovery of the scissors that give it the movement of circulating life. This tool doesn’t modulate, it doesn’t brush on, but it incises in, underline this well, because the criteria of observation will be different.
Matisse