“Monet- Mitchell” Exhibition Exposes The Dialog Between Two Major Artists At The Fondation Louis Vuitton In Paris
The “Monet – Mitchell” exhibition presents the major works of two exceptional artists from different generations, Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Joan Mitchell (1925-1992). What could have in common one of the founder of Impressionism and American abstract artist ?
This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a selection of “late Monet” paintings, realised in Giverny, with the canvases of Mitchell, mainly created in Vétheuril.
Faced with the same landscape, Monet and Mitchell had a pictorial approach that they defined in similar terms, with Monet referring to “sensation” and Mitchell to “feelings”. Inspired by the natural surroundings of the Paris Region, both artists shared an acute sensitivity to light and colour.
Nymphéas bleus, between 1916 et 1919
Monet started cultivating his “water lilies” at his property in Giverny in 1893. From the 1910s until his death in 1926, the garden and its pond became his sole source of inspiration : ” I have returned to things that were impossible: water with grasses waving in the depths… My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”
New at the time for Monet, and a continual presence for Mitchell, large formats imply an emphatically gestural paitin with immense freedom in terms of technique, with vibrant brushstrokes and textural effects alternating opacities and fluidities.
In the context American Abstract Expressionism’ emergence in the 1950s, Mitchell took part in exhibitions devoted to the notion of “abstract impressionism,” a term coined by her friend Elaine de Kooning. Claude Monet’s Water Lilies found recognition in the United States in the 1950s, where they were seen as precursors of abstraction by the painters of Abstract Expressionism. The rapprochement between the two artists was further reinforced by Joan Mitchell’s move in 1968 to Vétheuil to a house close to where Monet lived between 1878-1881.
The foundation offers a rare opportunity to see Monet’s magnificent Agapanthus triptych of 10.5m, brought together from three different American museums.
Alongside the Monet-Mitchell dialogue, the Fondation presents the most significant Joan Mitchell retrospective to be shown in Europe in over 30 years. This exhibition, organised in partnership with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), aims to raise public awareness of Joan Michell’s work.
Joan Mitchell, Un Jardin pour Audrey, 1975
Mitchell painted this diptych in memory of Thomas B. Hess’s wife, Audrey, who died suddenly less than a month after a lunch with Annalee Newman, the widow of painter Barnett Newman, at La Tour, Mitchell’s property at Vétheuil.
Through some 60 emblematic works by both artists, the exhibition offers the public an enchanting and immersive journey.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton was inaugurated on October 20, 2014 by French President François Hollande and Bernard Arnault, to support contemporary French and international artistic creation and make art accessible to a wide audience.
The “Monet – Mitchell” exhibition and the Joan Mitchell Retrospective are open from October 5, 2022 – February 27, 2023 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris.