Monet and his Modern Legacy

Exhibition Website

Oct 28 2023 - Mar 10 2024

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Impressionism, the Nelson-Atkins presents Monet and his Modern Legacy—an exhibition exploring Claude Monet’s transformative impact on a later generation of American artists. Featuring three remarkable loans from the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, and additional works by Monet, this show illuminates the paintings and their far-reaching influence on artists like Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitski, and Jean-Paul Riopelle, among others.

Monet and his Modern Legacy not only showcases Claude Monet’s influence, but also delves into the reappraisal and significance of the artist’s late works. These paintings, including his expansive Water Lilies canvases created in his mid-70s until his passing at age 86, embodied an immersive nature that anticipated the Modernist departure from traditional easel-bound art, marking a pivotal shift in the approach to painting. While today, Monet’s late works are beloved by art enthusiasts worldwide, during Monet’s life, they were met with confusion and dismissal. Critics found them messy, blaming the artist’s failing eyesight for the perceived chaos.

During the 1950s, however, American museums, collectors, and critics transformed their perception of Monet’s late style. They recognized its brilliance and began to connect it with the emerging movement of Abstract Expressionism. Indeed, inspired by Monet’s innovative use of color, gestural forms, space, scale, and atmosphere, many Abstract Expressionist artists embarked on their own radical artistic journeys, creating unique artworks—many of which will be on view for the first time in over thirty years—that bear the unmistakable influence of Claude Monet and his enduring artistic legacy.

Credit: Overview from museum website

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