Henri Matisse: The Cut-outs
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    At the end of his life, Henri Matisse turned almost exclusively to cut-out paper as his medium. This publication is a retrospective of this perio… Read More
    At the end of his life, Henri Matisse turned almost exclusively to cut-out paper as his medium. This publication is a retrospective of this period of his life, explored using technical and conceptual ideas inspired by Matisse’s cutouts. The text is set in Akzidenz Grotesk. Combined with Matisse’s simple compositions, this creates a visual language that puts emphasis on readability and simplicity, while also paying homage to early 20th century modernism, in which both Matisse and Akzidenz Grotesk played a pivotal role. Type is set for clarity, to give the reader an enjoyable and comfortable reading experience. The layout follows a visually consistent format from spread to spread. Headers and footers are positioned in the same location throughout the publication, to create a horizontal flow line that doesn’t disorientate the reader. Each section ends with an abstract interpretation of two cut-outs. These interpretations are spread over six pages – hand printed using a technique called ‘turps releasing’ onto thicker printmaking paper to increase the contrast in separation between each of the sections. This overall structure and format is heavily inspired by ‘Jazz,’ a book that Matisse made for his cut-outs. During a conversation about the book he said “I’d like to introduce my prints under the most favourable of conditions. For this reason I must separate them by intervals.” This insight inspired the idea to separate the visual content and the informational content into different sections. Rather than default to reflecting Matisse’s intense colour palette within the book design, it is stripped back to black and white images, with text colour in a blue drawn from Matisse’s iconic ‘Blue Nude II’. This places emphasis on the compositions. The bronze from the cover takes influence from two of his more well known cut-outs ‘Oceania, the Sky’ and ‘Oceania, the Sea.’ The cover sets the tone for the book as a subtle architectural scaffold for Matisse’s work. Embossed shapes emphasise the cut-out aesthetic in a quiet and delicate manner. The binding technique was chosen because I wanted to give the reader the option to tear out the pages, allowing them to interact with the hand printed works in a completely different context as stand alone pieces of art. This book uses the cut-outs of Matisse as a conceptual catalyst, and presents it in a way that allows the work to be respectfully showcased, whilst offering it up in a new way through the format of presentation. In this way, it is both a reverence, a celebration, and a reinterpretation of Matisse’s cut-out period. Read Less