In 2014 it was my thrill to see the Henri Matisse Cut Outs exhibit at the MoMA. Installed in multiple rooms, including a full scale model of the dining room in Nice where he created the Swimming Pool, this exposition brought Matisse's legacy forward. He still thrills and challenges visual norms. In the last paragraph below there is a link to a virtual walk through of the Cut Outs.
The indefatigable Hilary Spurling, Matisse's biographer, Sums up his life and the Cut Outs in this video from the Tate.
Although at first much of this new form of art seemed impenetrable to me, I slowly began to unlock Henri's messages. Some are as simple as how his maquette for a Vance window means "up," or how Oceana means "immersive and unified." Gustave Moreau taught Matisse and prophesied that he would "simplify art." Indeed, here in the final works of his long career, Henri Matisse distilled color and form into visual delights without missing a beat. It's as if you are awoken in an operating room and your visuals are being administered intravenously. There is no spoon-feeding of subjects or details; you feel directly the experience of a lifetime of seeing. You are walking around inside of Matisse's artwork.
Matisse was not being boastful when he said that it would take fifty years for people to understand these works. Here we are over sixty years hence, and mystery still enshrouds his works. What was he trying to say (and what gave him the iron nerve to say it?) with these childish decoupages?
MoMA provides this examination of what the Cut Outs are.
This walk-through link gives you nearly the experience of the actual show, except that it is linear instead of circuitous. Using clear colors and sharp photography, it provides you with a fine record of the event. Enjoy. Source: New York Times.
"When he’s genuinely tough and self-demanding, as he is in some later work, he’s on a plane of his own. Whatever pain it took, the late work is made for love."
Produced by Larry Buchanan, Alicia DeSantis and Josh Williams. Composite photograph by Emon Hassan. Images © 2015 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.