Thursday, October 4, 2012

Abstract Art and Henri Matisse

Fourth grade students have been learning about painter Henri Matisse. We took a look at his cut paper collage entitled Beasts of the Sea. Fourth graders learned about organic and geometric shapes, visual movement in art, and how artists find inspiration for their abstract work. Students used mostly organic shapes in their collages, were required to create movement using a visual path for the eye with a single color, and generated a bank of organic shapes using pictures of the deep sea as inspiration. We discussed the fact that abstract artwork is not random, but made with intention and care.

Here is Matisse's original work, Les Betes de la Mer / Beasts of the Sea:

You can view more of his collage work HERE and I will leave you with some brief footage of the artist at work:


  1. These are so pretty- AND I love the content taught about abstract art. It's something I've worked on with my students too-abstract art can have much more going on than they think! :D

  2. Thank you! The well of inspiration contained within abstract work can sometimes even escape me! It is important to remember that all art was inspired and has a source :)

  3. I've got a class of second years working on collages inspired by "Beasts of the Sea" myself and thought I was being original in my thinking!! Ha! Mine are Christmas themed though so they are very different.

    1. Well, it is a fantastic and inspiring piece! It sounds like you have put your own spin on it too. Fun!