|These are two panels from the newly restored cut-out, "The Swimming Pool," by Henri Matisse, which is part of a new exhibit at MoMA. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.)|
The Museum of Modern Art’s new exhibition “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs,” includes a newly restored work the museum purchased in 1973, “The Swimming Pool” (1952), among other spectacular examples of what the artist himself described as a “cutting out operation.” These works, which Matisse (1869-1954) began in the last decade or so of his life, were created with a pair of scissors and brightly colored gouache applied to white paper. The resulting shapes, which recur through several works, are sometimes imbricated, but often more simply arrayed across paper or burlap.
“The Swimming Pool,” pinned to burlap and on view in a room of its own, was the inspiration for the entire show. As Mr. Karl Buchberg, Senior Conservator at MoMA, explained at a press conference on Tuesday, he noticed the burlap was deteriorating and discoloring the paper. He proposed that it be replaced; the resulting restoration is what led to the idea of staging the exhibition. In a video which screens at the exhibit, Mr. Buchberg is seen removing some of that burlap thread by thread. He and Ms. Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints, along with Ms. Samantha Friedman, Assistant Curator in that department, organized the exhibit, working in collaboration with London’s Tate Modern, which recently held a similar show.
|"Zulma" 1950, one of the cut-outs on display at MoMA's new exhibition. (Photo courtesy of MoMA.)|