great tradition of colorists

Matisse has always emphasized that color by itself meant very little, even in quantity, that  a colorist must establish “relationships” between colors to give them expression. “ it is not quality which counts, “he said, “ but choice and organization.”

Matisse, in the great tradition of colorists, learned to use color to by pass the intellect and to engage the imagination. For the intellectual, rational illusion of tonal gradations and perspective, he substituted an illusion constructed of color: volumes, weights and spaces which were immediately felt-intuited-rather than logically deduced. He built his art on color, because color was a more intense equivalent of the totality of experience than either a line or tone: color appealed directly to the senses: color was the means to convey the inner, emotional reality of things. 

Henri Matisse – paper cut outs. Jack Cowart jack Flam Dominique Fourcarde