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The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the last Monet

Impressionism & Abstraction

A brush of red marten and a pot of paint.
Giverny gardens and a loft in Manhattan. Harmony with nature and creative trance Claude Monet and Jakson Pollok.
Do you think all this be incompatible?
Don’t you believe in these unnatural unions?
Probably you did not visit the exhibition « The Water Lilies.  American Abstract Painting  and the last Monet» at the Orangerie Museum in Paris.
As the title says it, the curators gamble was to find out in the last Claude Monet’s works a link with the post-war American abstraction and we can say the challenge was met.
As a matter of fact, in this exhibition we can admire several impressionist paintings, which were used as a link between the last achievements of the « classic» art and the one which will become the most absolute abstract art.
The Action painting indeed, like the whole post-war American art, produced a real earthquake for us Europeans tired and hard-hit not just artistically speaking.
Jackson Pollock’s, Willem de Kooning’s, and Mark Rothko’s artistic language was a real shock.
It is true that we had opened the way to with Abstractism movement and Picasso, but his art never went out of the classic canons of our thousand-year-old history.
This art however is another story, a story written by the war winners stating that the twentieth century will be the century of the United States of America
To get back to the exhibition, the impression awaken by the videos shown in the same room with Monet on one side, and Pollock on the other one, cannot be easily forgotten.
On the left video one sees Monet seeming to search an immersion in the nature, a way towards harmony, whereas in the other video nothing of all that : with Pollock more than a creative period, appears a blind anger, almost desperate
Everything seems to separate them, yet…
More than the Nymphéas, as the title of the exhibition suggests it, it seems to me the key work be totally different.
In my opinion, it is the painting «Le Pont Japonais », which from a strictly visual and aesthetic point of view, seems to really be considered as the meeting point between Impressionism and the American avant-gardes.
History teaches us that the Action Painting’s artists have, in a few decades, swept out our old way of looking at traditional art as inspiration to the beautiful and to the sacred and at art as a way used by men for a personal or collective progress.
From now on, the artist will have no other limit than his own creativity, and his own consciousness, wherever it leads to.
This was without counting that some time later someone called Andy Warhol from Pittsburgh would have buried even the concept of Art.
What will be left out of all this? For the time being nobody knows.
Meanwhile, according to the capitalist vision, those who are right, looking at the exceptional amounts at their auctions at Christies or Sothebys, are Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko etc.

 

 

The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the last Monet.’
Orangerie Museum
Paris
from 13th April to 20 August 2018