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Elle vit apparaitre le matin
elle se tut discrètement
 

Henri Matisse, The Thousand and One Nights, 1950, gouache on cut-and-pasted paper, Carnegie Museum of Art


                

BEING OLD,
BEING NEW
 

(in other words, being Scheherazade)

The lovely Thousand and One Nights unscrolls from left to right telling us the story of Scheherazade weaving a tale -- the magic lamp and dusk, a blue form (that is a precursor to his later blue nudes, but here is the hovering djinn).  Hearts, leaves -- and hearts more than anything else -- border the work.   Work as love.  Dusk turns to dawn, the djinn is back in the lamp and Scheherazade stops her tale, is silent, discreet.  To live another day.  Positive and negative, and their juxtaposition and interplay, gouache, paper, scissors, pins.  Matisse, like Scheherazade, inventing new stories to keep himself going . . .  'une seconde vie' as he called it himself.
Being old, being new. 
In other words, being Scheherazade . . . .

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