Julie Rafalski

Paper Cut-outs

Matisse's early paper cut -uts, which were used primarily for mapping out paintings, were done without a sense of their own preciousness. They were means to achieve an end.

There is the same immediacy present in drawing, of quickly putting ideas on paper. The early cut-outs have a sketch-like quality, of something planned, not quite finished, the outline of an idea. The noting down of where elements are placed, which colours are used and their interactions. A thought in colour. Something left unsaid…

The rest will be filled in later, the details will be added, the paint applied more evenly, lines cut more evenly, stains removed, paper smoothed out.

For now, though, this makeshift drawing will have to last, will have to support itself with meagre means, will have to suggest something more substantial than itself.

There are still different possibilities, it can go slightly differently, it can still change, it has potential to become something else. One has to imagine the finished piece, the scale of it, the colours, the shapes, the impact…
One had to produce it in the mind's eye.