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An exhibition featuring the work of French painter, sculptor and designer Henri Matisse will open in Durham this month.

Matisse – Drawing with Scissors, a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from London’s Southbank Centre, features 35 posthumous prints of the iconic cut-outs produced by the artist in the last four years of his life.

They will take pride of place within the recently opened gallery at the city’s Gala Theatre from Saturday, 17 February to Sunday, 18 March.

Matisse’s spectacular paper cut-outs were the artist’s final triumph and include many of his iconic images such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes. The colours he used for these pieces of art were so strong that he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses when working on them.

Although not released until after his death in 1954, the publication was planned during his lifetime, with the first lithographic plates prepared under his direction a few days before he died.

The Matisse exhibition coincides with Gala’s production of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and three drama, visual arts and animation engagement projects will take place across the county, co-ordinated by the theatre’s community arts team.

Over the next year, the gallery will showcase modern and contemporary art by local, regional, national and international artists.

The Gala Gallery is open between 10am and 8.30pm Monday to Saturday and between 2.30pm and 8.30pm on Sundays. All exhibitions are free.

For more information visit www.durham.gov.uk/art

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