Published: November 17, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — With broad strokes, “Monet and the Impressionist Revolution, 1860–1910,” which recently opened at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, highlights the transformation of Claude Monet’s (French, 1840–1926) visual practice. He brought painting to the brink of abstraction, but on no occasion crossed over into completely nonrepresentational imagery. One of the founders of French Impressionism, Monet painted outside en plein air, where he refined his use of color to reveal the ambiance of natural light.
The exhibition came about as the museum decided, as part of an unexpected reciprocal loan arrangement, to mount a small spotlight presentation dedicated to Monet within a larger body of synchronous artists’ works from the museum’s collection. While the Albright-Knox is home to myriad late Nineteenth Century masterpieces, it owns only one painting by Monet—“Chemin de Halage à Argenteuil (Towpath at Argenteuil, Winter)” — a river scene painted on the banks of the Seine in Argenteuil, France, around 1875. Ultimately, the loan of seven additional paintings by Monet and one by Manet (an artist who is not significantly represented in the museum’s collection) from six American museums came to fruition, and serve as the exhibition’s basis. These loans allow for a contemplative space within the exhibition dedicated solely to the course of Monet’s practice from the mid-1860s to circa 1910. Together, they are framed by the work of artists such as Eugène Boudin (French, 1824–1898), Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894), Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), Gustave Courbet (French, 1819–1877), Charles François Daubigny (French, 1817–1878) and Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), among many others.
The exhibition remains on view until March 20, 2016, and will be accompanied by The Impressionist Revolution and the Advent of Abstract Art, 1860–1914, which will be available for purchase in spring 2016.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is at 1285 Elmwood Avenue. For additional information, www.albrightknox.org or 716-882-8700.
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