Friday, June 3, 2011

Claude Monet at the L' Orangerie

When I looked at the large scale lily pad paintings at L' Orangerie I thought that they were wonderful because they require the viewer to move while seeing them. The view of them from far away is completely different than up close. As one approaches the paintings and views them from as close as possible, the painting begins to abstract itself, making it unclear what it was that he/ she is seeing. Being limited to one portion of the painting at a time eliminates the other elements of the painting that make it obvious what it is depicting.

In fact, the way that the paint was put on the surface of these paintings seem like they could be in existence with abstract expressionism and even color field painting. Eric and I talked a little about how these paintings may have influenced artists like Rothko and Joan Mitchell.

The layout of the space reminded me of other installations like the Rothko Chapel and also Olafur Eliasson's 360 degrees, a room for all color. The way that these paintings also require the viewer to see the paintings from near and far to completely contextualize what it is they are seeing also reminds me of George Seurat and the pointillists. However I feel like the Monet paintings have the opposite effect of say, a Seurat. In the Monet, one becomes more disoriented in space and the greater picture of what they are seeing while in Seurat, the closeness provides a clarity to the application of paint.

(Reference images taken from google.)

Photos in order:
Olafur Eliasson- 360 degrees, a room for all color
Seurat detail
Mitchell Painting
Rothko Chapel
Monet view from the L' Orangerie (I didn't realize the camera strap was visable at the time. Oops)

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