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  • Writer's pictureKrissy Vanderwarker

Inspired By's - Matisse Cut-Outs

In an effort to inspire and lift up those who are making cool things or are living particularly compelling stories, I curate blog posts that I'm calling "Inspired By's". Enjoy!

photo: Ruth Fremson, New York Times

During the last decade of his life Henri Matisse deployed two simple materials—white paper and gouache—to create works of wide-ranging color and complexity. An unorthodox implement, a pair of scissors, was the tool Matisse used to transform paint and paper into a world of plants, animals, figures, and shapes. - from MOMA

I've always been drawn to Matisse - especially his Cut Outs. There's something about the organic shapes, saturated color and the scale. The studio assistants Lydia Delectorskaya, Annelies Nelck and Jacqueline Duhême fascinate me and I want to know more about their stories!

Studio Assistants Lydia Delectorskaya, Annelies Nelck and Jacqueline Duhême. Photos from MoMA

His work calls to me and I see it in contemporary design and art all the time. Below are some examples of designers and artists that I admire and that seem to carry on this conversation.


Fashion and homewares designer DusenDusen uses cut out-type color blocks in their clothing, bedding and even digital stationary which was in collaboration with Paperless Post. I love the movement and color palettes so much.

Jesse Chamberlin

I'm always inspired by Jesse Chamberlin's photography. Her joyous spirit comes through in her photography and styling. Her off-beat or unique spins help me see the world in a new way.

Sister Corita Kent

Corita Kent (1918–1986) was a social justice advocate, educator and artist. She was influenced by the pop artists like Andy Warhol and was dedicated to using her art as a call for social change. She was working in serigraph and watercolor, but her lines, composition and color remind me of Matisse.

Adi Goodrich

Inspired by Sister Corita, photographer and set designer Adi Goodrich has an incredible eye for color and shape juxtaposition. I love her color combinations. Every piece of theatre I direct tends to be somehow influenced by Adi Goodrich. Her work is all over my Pinterest boards. I admire her inventiveness and use of space. Her sets tend to be a bit disorienting, but that off-kilter vibe is what allows you to more clearly see the subject of the photograph.

Let me know what inspires you! Get in touch at or sign up for updates about the blog.


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