Follow the trail to the abstract snail- Matisse’s ‘The Snail’ review

Follow the trail to the abstract snail- Matisse’s ‘The Snail’ review

Matisse’s ‘The Snail’ is leaving a trail of fans eager to see this colourfully chaotic work of art at The Tate Modern.

By Isla Russell, first year journalism student at LSBU

Matisse once said that when it comes to art you must “seek the strongest colour effect possible”- well he’s done himself proud with his 1952 masterpiece ‘The Snail’.

Made from cutting and tearing shapes from coloured paper painted over with gouache, French artist Matisse, managed to create an abstract yet fun and colourful piece of art work, even when extremely ill and working at a snail’s pace. Through the aid of his assistants, who he told where exactly to stick the torn out shapes, Matisse simply lay back and relaxed while his art was made before him.  

His much larger than scale snail now permanently hangs in the Start Display room at the Tate Modern London and has left thousands of visitors baffled by its multi-coloured magnitude and seemingly erratic placement of shapes. Some may see it as a cut and stick job done by a five year old, whereas others marvel at the sheer genius behind the colourful creature. Either way it has visitors divided just like art should.

A colourful creation that will marvel and baffle you at the same time, Matisse’s ‘The Snail’ is a chromatic wonder to see. Now part of a permanent exhibit at The Tate Modern there is no excuse for you not to follow the trail to Matisse’s vibrant ‘The Snail’.

The Snail 1953 Henri Matisse 1869-1954 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1962 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00540
The Snail 1953 Henri Matisse 1869-1954 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1962 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00540