1 of 4 | Simon Kelly, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art for the Saint Louis Art Museum, talks Wednesday about the Monet/Mitchell exhibition, which is opening next week in St. Louis. The exhibition will be the first at an America venue to examine the relationship between two masters of their medium: the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet and American Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
March 22 (UPI) -- A new art exhibition, which officially opens next week in St. Louis, will become the first at an American venue to examine the relationship between French Impressionist painter Claude Monet and American Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell.
The exhibition called Monet/Mitchell: Painting the French Landscape is scheduled to open Monday at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Missouri, where the two 20th century masters' works will be displayed through June 25th.
The exhibition features 24 large-scale panoramic paintings, including 12 by Monet from the Musee Marmottan Monet, which houses the largest collection of Monet's work in the world. The rest of the paintings are by Mitchell and from the collection of the Foundation Louis Vuitton. The Saint Louis Art Museum also loaned two from its collection: "Water Lilies" by Monet and "Ici" by Mitchell.
The exhibition, which will be revealed in a public preview Friday, examines how both Monet and Mitchell worked with the French landscape, and drew inspiration from their gardens as trees, water and flowers dominate many of their paintings.
Monet spent his final decades in Giverny, about 50 miles northwest of Paris, until his death in 1926. Mitchell, who was born one year before Monet died, lived in Vétheuil between 1968 and 1992. During Mitchell's time in France, she overlooked a house where Monet had lived and painted for several years.
"Money and Mitchell fearlessly and exuberantly upended the established traditions within their medium, and it is a joy to bring their monumental paintings together for our community to experience," said Min Jung Kim, the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art for SLAM, pointed out Mitchell's use of vibrant color and brushwork in her painting "Plowed Field," featuring distinct sections of greens, reds and other colors, as Monet's "Weeping Willow" displayed his interpretation of nature.
"By presenting the paintings of Monet and Mitchell in dialogue, we see how fervently they each depicted the beauty and transience of their beloved Vétheuil and Giverny," Kelly said in a statement in October, when the exhibition was announced.
"While Mitchell both embraced and disavowed comparisons between her work and that of the late impressionist, the through lines between their paintings are both undeniable and astonishing to witness."