Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs | MoMA

Matisse at the Hôtel Régina, Nice, c. 1952

This Sunday New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will open its blockbuster exhibition Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, showing how the artist turned paper cut-outs into masterpieces.

The show includes approximately 100 cut-outs from private and public collections, drawings, textiles and stained glass from the final years of the renowned artist, who died in 1954 aged 84.

"It is the most extensive exhibition of this period of Matisse's work ever mounted," said Jodi Hauptman, a curator of the show, which was organized in collaborations with the Tate Modern in London.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). "The Nightmare of the White Elephant (Le Cauchemar de l’éléphant blanc)". 1943. Maquette for plate IV from the illustrated book Jazz (1947). Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas. 17 5/16 x 26 1/4" (43.9 x 66.7 cm). Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Dation, 1985

A brilliant final chapter in Matisse's long career, the cut-outs reflect both a renewed commitment to form and color and an inventiveness directed to the status of the work of art, whether as a unique object, environment, ornament, or a hybrid of all of these.

The centerpiece of the exhibition will be "The Swimming Pool", a remarkable room-size cut-out Matisse created for his dining room in Nice in 1952, and which MoMA owns. According to the Times, MoMA acquired the piece from Matisse's family in 1975 and it has not been shown in nearly 20 years, partially because of its size, but also because of the "delicate nature of the composition." Below you can explore the process of conserving Matisse's The Swimming Pool.

When the exhibition was shown in London earlier this year it drew more than 560,000 people during its five-month run at the Tate Modern, making it the museum's most popular show ever.

- October 12, 2014 - February 8, 2015. Timed tickets required -