Matisse is the perfect artist for Tate modern. He already adorns a thousand pieces of merchandise from greetings cards to mugs so he is a good generator of extra revenue through the well-positioned and well-stocked gift shop that (with Ikea like ruthlessness)you have to pass through as you exit the show.
He is joyfully easy to understand and has the mass appeal which exactly fits the Tate modern’s mission to convert modern art from being something for high minded elites into a mass cultural experience and driver of the tourism market.
He also has a great back story. These cut outs were created in the last 20 years of his life when he was increasingly sick and frail. They are a bright energetic and optimistic antidote to gloom, greyness and the dying of the light. A lesson for all those marketing to seniors and the grey market.
Like Elizabeth David and Sir Terence Conran he seems to me to have captured the zeitgeist at the right time – bringing a blast of bright mediterranean light, design and freshness to gloomy 50s’ Britain.