Exhibition in Paris addresses a creative dialogue between artists Claude Monet, Joan Mitchell

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The artists Claude Monet and Joan Mitchell maintain, through their works, a creative dialogue on the use of color, emotions, and light in an exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris that opens its doors on Wednesday. (EFE via Reuters)

The exhibition “Monet – Mitchell” creates, for the first time, a visual, artistic, sensorial, and poetic dialogue between the works of two exceptional artists, Claude Monet (1840-1926), with his Water Lilies, and Joan Mitchell (1925-1992). Both artists left their mark not only on their epoch but also on subsequent generations of painters.

The “Monet-Mitchell” exhibition is complemented by a retrospective of Joan Mitchell’s work, enabling the public in France and Europe to discover her work. “Monet – Mitchell” and the “Joan Mitchell Retrospective” present each artist’s unique response to a shared landscape, which they interpret in a particularly immersive and sensual manner.

In his last paintings, the Water Lilies, Monet aimed to recreate in his studio the motifs he observed at length on the surface of his water lily pond in Giverny. Joan Mitchell, on the other hand, would explore a memory or a sense of the emotions she felt while in a particular place that was dear to her, perceptions that remained vivid beyond space and time. She would create these abstract compositions at La Tour, her studio in Vétheuil, a small French village where she moved permanently in 1968 and where Claude Monet had lived between 1878 and 1881.

The exhibition brings together two exceptional bodies of work:
Claude Monet’s Agapanthus triptych (ca. 1915-1926), a nearly 13-metre long “Grand Decoration”. Held in three American museums (the Cleveland Museum, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City), it will be exhibited in its entirety for the first time in Paris since 1956. This triptych, on which Monet worked for nearly 10 years and which he considered to be “one of his four best series,” played a decisive role in the artist’s’ subsequent recognition in the United States.

Claude Monet, Agapanthus, 1916-1919 Oil on canvas 200 x 150 cm Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Joan Mitchell’s La Grande Vallée: a selection of ten paintings from the Grand Vallée series (1983-84) is being exceptionally brought together, almost four decades after its fragmentary exhibition at the Galerie Jean Fournier in 1984. Regarded as one of her most important series, it is characterised by an abundance of colour that spreads across the canvas, creating a sense of vibrancy and elation. The Centre Pompidou’s triptych, La Grande Vallée XIV (For a Little While), which has a different feel to it, provokes a feeling of infinity in which the viewer’s gaze is lost.

Joan Mitchell La Grande Vallee XIV For a Little While 1983
Joan Mitchell, La Grande Vallée XIV (For a Little While), 1983 Oil on canvas, 280 × 600 cm Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris © The Estate of Joan Mitchell

Claude Monet’s visionary shift to large formats is echoed in the size of Joan Mitchell’s work. Her work, in turn, provides a contemporary reading of Monet’s Water Lilies (1914-1926) in the Frank Gehry-designed building.

General Curator of the exhibition: Suzanne Pagé, Artistic Director of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. (Via Fondation Louis Vuitton)

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