Jazz, planche VIII, Ikaros by Henri Matisse
Jazz, planche VIII, Ikaros, (1947), published in conjunction with Louisiana's 2005 exhibition of Matisse's late works - A New Life. Although Henri Matisse is best known to many for his paintings, he also worked with sculpture, graphic prints and, in the last four years of his life, with paper cut-outs and collages – among other things for the epoch-making book work, Jazz , from 1947, from which the motif here is from. Matisse is well known in Louisiana, which first exhibited the French master in 1985.
The lithographed masterpiece, Jazz, contained, among other things, 20 illustrations opposite texts in which Matisse talks about his art. Matisse's paper cuts in the book are lively - like the title. Music and dance. And many inspirations from the circus environment, with clowns, trapeze artists and saber swallowers.
Matisse himself thought that the paper cut technique was clearly sculptural and even though it was flat, he thought of it in three dimensions. And the paper clips also have their own spatiality – there is a long way from the trapezes down to the arena floor:
When he here lets Ikaros fall out of the sky, it happens against a background of deep blue and twinkling stars – and the boy sinks gently through space while the red heart beats.
Matisse is one of the most influential artists of the 1900s and is today considered one of the formative artists in modern art.
84.1 x 59.4 cm