Henri Matisse embraced the freeing world of collage, leaving traditional painting behind but not abandoning it completely. He referred to his cut-outs as "painting with scissors" and said, "Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated."
Taking inspiration from Matisse the class set out to create our own cut-outs, in the style of a triptych. We used various organic shapes of paper, layering translucent tissue paper over opaque construction paper. This project could be fun for all ages, if the students would allow it to be. However, I don't believe most secondary students would be able to step outside their mind and enjoy the project. For elementary, this project would be a blast! Because some of the younger students aren't as skilled with scissors and paste, I would be inclined to use this project in the upper elementary such as third or fourth grade. At this age they are still interested in art for expression rather than realism and have the technical skills to complete a project like this.
MATISSE TRIPTYCH LESSON PLAN
GRADE: 3-4 INTERMEDIATE
TIME: ONE PERIOD
UNIT: PAPER MANIPULATION
Students will identify and use organic free form shapes.
Students will create a non-objective artwork using line, shape, and color.
Students will be able to discuss Matisse's cut-outs and collage.
ELEMENTS OF ART:
Line, Color, Shape
PRINCIPLES OF ART:
Repetition, Movement, Unity
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:
12X18" Construction Paper (various colors)
Construction Paper Scraps
Tissue Paper Scraps
Medium Bristle Brush
Small Cup for Glue
Organic vs. Geometric
Collage (french for "to glue")
Fauvism ("wild beast")
- Students will be handed an organic shape cut-out with tape on the back and asked to post it on a large piece of paper as they enter the room. Using this pieces as an example, the teacher will begin discussing collage and with work of Henri Matisse
- Today we're going to talk about Henri Matisse and create a non-objective triptych using organic shapes, line and color. (Using the collaborative piece created by the students as an example, the teacher will begin discussing collage and with work of Henri Matisse)
- Short PowerPoint about Matisse's paper cut-outs. (5minutes)
- Demonstrate folding paper into thirds and cutting a design on the top.
- Students will fold paper into thirds and cut their designed top. The class will then hold up their paper so the teacher may check for understanding.
- Demonstrate cutting organic shapes and "sandwich collaging" (putting glue on paper then placing cut-out and painting more glue over top)
- "Go!" Students will assemble their triptych allowing for independent practice of the information learned. As the students work the teacher will observe the classrooms checking for understanding as the students work.
- Clean up warning. After tables are clean the class will engage in a line-up review, each table will be asked a question about Matisse, collage, or the elements or principles learned that day. When a table has answered their question correctly they will line up at the door. The next time the class meets, we will look at the triptychs and discuss them in a class critique.