Le Métier de Matisse, 2014

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In 2014 I was commissioned by Pablo Helguera, the Director of Adult and Academic Programs in the Department of Education of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, to make an installation and conduct workshops for the department’s MoMA Studio program in conjunction with the exhibition Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. This interactive project, “MoMA Studio: Beyond the Cut-Out,” took place in the airy mezzanine space of the Museum’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building. Works by four other artists—Carlos Amorales, Arturo Herrera, Sarah Crowner, and Amy Jacobs of Dieu Donné—were also part of the project.

My installation, Le Métier de Matisse, freely combined archival images, cultural ephemera, and textile samples to trace the migration of Matisse’s cut-outs through both fine art and popular culture over time. Matisse grew up in Bohain, a northern-French town that at the time was a center of the textile industry, and throughout his life he collected a wide assortment of textiles and tapestries, as well as other decorative objects. Echoing the associative nature of an artist’s studio, my installation presented a web of visual and historical references intended to assert and expand upon Matisse’s rich relationship to textiles and decorative patterns. I hoped that this in turn would inspire visitors to create their own new cut-outs and collages.