04 Feb 2020

Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature

Denver Art Museum

Reviewed by Alesh Houdek

This exhibition of 120 of Monet's paintings, ranging his entire career, will convince the viewer of a few facts. First, the impressionistic style was not a revelation, or a discovery in any conventional sense. It was slowly and laboriously realized over the course of over a decade, with lots of regression. From the amount of work he put in, it feels like the manner of seeing had to convince the artist to open to new ideas to the point of being willing to fail. (Indeed, there are more than a few duds here).

Second, the artist discovered several directions and abandoned them to be explored by others decades later, including the color-field minimalism of some of his mist-drenched landscapes and the sketchy ultra-looseness that presage Franz Kline.

Third and most importantly, neither the screen nor the printed page do painting justice. These works can only be seen by moving in, out, and around them. They dissolve into abstract strokes up close and pop into uncanny realism from across the room, their colors unreproducible either way.

Exhibition Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature link
Start date 21 Oct 2019
End date 02 Feb 2020 (15 days ago)
Presenter Denver Art Museum link
Venue 100 W 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO, USA map
Image Claude Monet, Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville, 1882, oil on canvas, 23 x 30-1/2 inches, Frederic C. Hamilton Collection, bequeathed to the Denver Art Museum
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