‘I opened this book with high expectations. They have been admirably fulfilled.  Here we have a stand alone thriller about two lonely people who pursue a relationship of monthly weekends together in remote spots.  Suddenly one of these two fails to get to the rendezvous-vous and the other realises how very limited her knowledge of her  companion is . . . Gradually the reader pieces together some of the facts as an atmosphere of rising tension envelops everything. The intelligent way Jay, Lisa and others plan their actions is enjoyable and the suspense of the tale is palpable.’


Matisse Cut-Outs

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 in cut-outs, Goya, Matisse, Picasso, Titian | No Comments

This blog is mainly about books, but art means very nearly as much to me. I couldn’t miss the exhibition of Matisse cut-outs at Tate Modern and I got down to see it last week. He is an artist that I love and admire. He said that he wanted his art to be like an armchair for a tired businessman (I sometimes think of that when I am writing – it’s not an ignoble aim for fiction either). Certainly for me looking at his work is pure pleasure, the closest I can get to the south of France without going there, but actually I think it is more than that in its celebration of colour and light and form. It is such a celebration of the material world, so full of joie de vivre.
There is something particularly life-affirming about the cut-outs. From the early 1940s Matisse was such poor health that he could no longer paint, but this didn’t stop him from working. With the cut-outs he moved into a entirely new phase  of his work and continued until he died aged 85 in 1954. This got me thinking about artists and longevity. Other artists that I admire – Titian, Goya, Picasso – continued working into old age with no decline in their creative powers, despite painting being such a physical activity. It seems to me that it is not quite the same for writers, something I might explore in another post.
Meanwhile I recommend the Matisse exhibition. It’s glorious.

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