Cutting Into Color

• For Panel with Mask and similar works, Matisse cut shapes freehand from colored paper, pinned them to his wall, and shuffled the pieces around until he found the right composition. He discovered a code of color and shape that did not exist before and has since been exploited for its graphic potential in textiles and fashion. The cut-outs are so complete that they appear discovered, not imagined. Not only do the shapes resemble plants and coral, but Matisse was not unlike a marine biologist unveiling new species of underwater life. Art and the sea floor are still uncharted territory. As of last week, at least one third of marine species remain unknown. Scientists have just discovered that the rocks underneath the seafloor are not barren but have networks of microbial life.

• Emma’s Red Leaf is an abstract screenprint combining vibrant shades of red and pink.

• Ceeb’s Ode to Matisse Earrings pay tribute to the cut-outs in sterling silver.

• Ostwald Helgason’s Spring 2013 Collection sets Matisse’s coral cut-outs among blue-green fabric that resembles a shimmering Caribbean sea.

• Lee Brozgold’s Bowl has loose brushstrokes reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy.

• Molly’s Scarves repurpose cashmere sweaters into stylish, color-blocked accessories.

• Jasmine’s Chiclet Ring is a candy-like concoction made from bright yellow and orange resin.

• This Messenger Bag by 3elizabeths covers a cross-body bag with Matisse’s cut-out designs.