Thursday, November 19, 2015


 On November 15, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery opened a new exhibition comprising prominent works by Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) and other leading artists associated with the Impressionist movement. Monet and the Impressionist Revolution, 1860–1910, conceived by Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén and organized by Sirén and Godin-Spaulding Curator & Curator for the Collection Holly E. Hughes, will feature forty late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century works from the Albright-Knox’s renowned Collection, as well as a carefully selected group of paintings by Monet on loan from museums around the United States. The exhibition will illustrate the artist’s seminal contributions to the modernist revolution.

Monet and the Impressionist Revolution will reveal the arc of five decades of artistic innovation, from the late nineteenth-century en plein-air painters, early Impressionists, and so-called post-Impressionists and Fauves, to the abstractions of Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944) at the turn of the century.

Claude Monet c, 1875, “Chemin de Halage a Argenteuil (Tow-path at Argenteuil)

Monet believed that the constantly changing conditions he strove to capture by painting outdoors imbued his subjects with true value. In this pursuit, he broke away from linear perspective and other techniques and forms associated with traditional, academic painting. Instead, he experimented with the introduction of bold colors, looser handling of paint, and an emphasis on color and light.

Les Glaçons (The Ice Floes), 1880. Oil on canvas, 46 3/16 x 66 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches (117.32 x 168.28 x 8.89 cm). Collection of Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, 

The trajectory of Monet’s work in this exhibition will be illuminated by a selection of key works from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Collection dating from the 1860s, the heyday of Realism in Western art, through the years leading to World War I and the birth of abstract painting.

On the occasion of this exhibition, the museum will publish The Impressionist Revolution and the Advent of Abstract Art. Authored by Dr. Sirén and available in Shop AK and on the AK’s website in February 2016, this book will explore the transformative moments and formal innovations in avant-garde Western art in the second half of the nineteenth century that tilled the ground for the advent of abstract painting around 1910. It will be the first catalogue dedicated to this particular segment of the museum’s holdings, highlighting fifty Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and early abstract paintings and sculptures from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s world-renowned Collection.

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Water Lilies, 1908. Oil on canvas, 31 1/2 inches (80 cm) in diameter. Collection Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated. Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art.