Nymphéas, l’Abstraction Américaine et le dernier Monet
Musée de l’Orangerie
April 13 – August 20, 2018
The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the Last Monet
curated by Cécile Debray, chief curator, director of the Musée de l’Orangerie
In 1955, Alfred Barr brought one of Monet’s large panels of Water Lilies (W1992) into the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at a time when these great “decorations”, still in the studio in Giverny, were beginning to attract the attention of collectors and museums.
Monet was presented at that time as “a bridge between the naturalism of early Impressionism and the highly developed school of Abstract Art” in New York, with his Water Lilies seen in the context of Pollock’s paintings, such as Autumn Rhythm (number 30), 1950. The reception of these later Monet works resonated with American Abstract Expression then coming into the museum collections. At the same time, the idea of “Abstract Impressionism” was forged. The exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie focuses on this precise moment – when the great decorations of the master of Giverny were rediscovered and the New York School of Abstract Art was recognised – with a selection of some of Monet’s later works and around twenty major paintings by American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Mark Tobey, Sam Francis, and Jean-Paul Riopelle.
Mirroring the exhibition, a space will be devoted to Ellsworth Kelly. Fascinated by Monet’s late period, he travelled to Giverny, where he was given access to Monet’s studio by Jean-Pierre Hoschedé. Kelly responded by painting his first monochrome work, Tableau vert. He was a regular visitor to France and to Belle-Île in particular, which inspired him to follow in the footsteps of Monet and produce drawings of a great many rocks, as well as his final works. This presentation is designed by Éric de Chassey with support of the American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie.
Ellsworth Kelly at Musée de l’Orangerie in conjunction with The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the Last Monet will be on view April 13 through August 20.[More Information]