The Codomas (1943) by Henri Matisse, maquette for plate XI from the illustrated book Jazz (1947) (Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris)

The Magician of Color: On the Vibrant, Shocking, Life-Affirming Matisse Show at MoMA

Playful, daring and immediate, Henri Matisse’s cutouts incite the giddiness of a circus; the reveries of a tropical paradise; the dynamic, interwoven eroticism of an orgy. No matter how well you think you know the artist or this work, nothing can prepare you for the revelatory experience “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs,” a staggeringly ebullient exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art through February 8. Rarely does a show like this come along; one that celebrates a relatively underappreciated aspect of an artistic giant, forcing us to see his entire oeuvre with fresh eyes.

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