Gallery Oldham is to showcase an exhibition featuring the last works of Henri Matisse.

The exhibition, ‘Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, Late Works 1950-1954’, will present an overview of the French artists’ final pieces.

Matisse is known the world over for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship.

The artist is regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the most important artists who helped move forward developments in visual arts through painting and sculpture.

After Matisse underwent surgery in his later years, he was left confined to his wheelchair or bed, and was no longer able to paint, sculpt or make prints, so he ‘drew with scissors’ instead, cutting directly into brilliantly coloured paper pre-painted by assistants.

His skills in the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art during the early 1900s. The paper cut-outs that Matisse made during the last years of his life are among his most vibrant and are not to be missed.

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “The team at the gallery work hard to bring these excellent exhibitions to Oldham and every year they never fail to host the best displays for everyone to enjoy.

“I hope everyone gets the chance to pop down to the gallery and see the vibrant work on show. Henri Matisse is a one of a kind artist and his commitment to making great art is truly unique.

“We’re looking forward to what the future holds for Gallery Oldham and Oldham’s wider cultural offer. Work is set to start on OMA, Oldham’s new Heritage and Arts Centre, this Spring and will bring Gallery Oldham, Local Studies and Archives and Oldham Theatre Workshop together under one roof.

“The new centre will offer the chance for families and visitors to enjoy top class shows, grab something to eat and drink or just explore pieces of history.”

The images in Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, Late Works 1950-1954’ are lithographic reproductions of Matisse’s late cut-outs, produced for the French art review Verve.

In the final year of his life Matisse oversaw the preparation of the lithographs for a special issue of Verve dedicated to the artist in 1958, four years after his death.

These fine lithographs are exceptionally faithful small-scale reproductions, intended to introduce the original cut-outs to a wider public.

The exhibition is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition and will run from Saturday 21 March until Saturday 16 May.


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