Françoise Gilot on Matisse

Françoise Gilot shares her memories of traveling with Picasso to meet Matisse.

Gilot remarks: “What drew me to Matisse is his desire for finding the strongest and most simple way of expressing a form or character. And also in terms of… mounting the color to the extreme… The difference between Matisse and Picasso is Picasso was looking at nothing when he was painting, but Matisse always liked to have a model near him – he could touch the hand of the model with his arm… There is an ancedote à propos Matisse and the color black. He decided to go and say hello to Renoir. One of the credos of the impressionists painters is you can’t use black any more. So, Matisse is bringing a few paitings to him, and of course, in them black is used as a color. Renoir was rather astonished and said “that is very strange – you have to be a painter because I, myself, could never make a painting with black not receding making a hole.”

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is on view at Tate Modern, London through September 7, 2014.