Columbia Museum of Art presents Monet to Matisse exhibition

. April 9, 2012 . 0 Comments

The Columbia Museum of Art presents a major exhibition, Impressionism from Monet to Matisse. This collection of 55 works including paintings, pastels and watercolors will be on view from January 25 through April 21, 2013. Included are paintings by the well-known masters of French Impressionism: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. The show also includes paintings by America’s most noted Impressionist painters, Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent. Moving beyond Impressionism, the show is rounded out with work by the more modern painters Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Georges Braque, among others.


Claude Monet (French, 1840 – 1926), Village Street, ca. 1869-71. Oil on canvas, 16 ¼ x 25 inches. Framed: 25 ½ x 34 x 2 ¾ inches. Collection of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens; Gift of Cornelia Ritchie and museum purchase, 1996.2.6

Typical of the Impressionists’ approach is Claude Monet’s Village Street of 1871. The scene is humble and ordinary, but the real subject is the dramatic play of light and shadow moving across the street in broad swaths of energetic paint. A freshening wind enlivens the sky, and swiftly applied daubs of green define the foliage. Monet’s art dances between realism and abstraction as it evokes nature’s atmosphere at the same time it calls attention to the reality of paint itself on the canvas.

“The Museum is delighted to bring this important exhibition to Columbia, giving visitors around the Southeast the chance to see incredibly beautiful works of art by some of the world’s greatest Impressionist artists. We are grateful to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens for sharing their superb collection,” executive director, Karen Brosius, said. Sponsors of this exhibition are Helen and John Hill.

“The Dixon’s French Impressionist paintings are utterly beautiful but they are also works of considerable historical significance,” Dixon Gallery and Gardens director, Kevin Sharp, said. “Some of these canvases were first seen in the original Impressionist shows of the 1870s and 1880s in Paris. These remarkable paintings speak eloquently to a fascinating age and the triumph of modern art in Europe. The Dixon is delighted to be sharing these treasures with the Columbia Museum of Art and its members and visitors.”

The Impressionists’ desire to look at the world with a new freshness and immediacy continues to appeal to audiences today, making it the most popular style of painting in the world. The Impressionists were radical in their own time because “High Art” was supposed to depict gods, heroes and wars subjects believed to be timeless. Instead, they painted the world we actually live in, one with average people seated having a drink at a café, train stations, dancers, or an empty field of poppies. Instead of creating painstakingly detailed paintings, they explored the way we actually see: they saw and captured the purple and blue of shadows, and the vibrating yellow, pink and green colors of the sky. Critics of the 19th century saw them as scandalous and the word “impressionist” was originally an insult. Now, we see that the Impressionists were really the first modern artists, painting contemporary life around them.

Columbia Museum of Art
PO Box 2068 Columbia, SC 29202
1515 Main Street
803.799.2810
www.columbiamuseum.org

Category: Fine Art

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