Joan Mitchell

The Water Lilies. American Abstract Art and the last Monet (group show)
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris
13 April - 20 August 2018

In 1955, Alfred Barr brought one of Monet’s large panels of Water Lilies (W1992) into the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at a time when these great "decorations", still in the studio in Giverny, were beginning to attract the attention of collectors and museums.

Monet was presented at that time as "a bridge between the naturalism of early Impressionism and the highly developed school of Abstract Art" in New York, with his Water Lilies seen in the context of Pollock’s paintings, such as Autumn Rhythm (number 30), 1950. The reception of these later Monet works resonated with American Abstract Expression then coming into the museum collections. At the same time, the idea of "Abstract Impressionism" was forged. The exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie focuses on this precise moment - when the great decorations of the master of Giverny were rediscovered and the New York School of Abstract Art was recognised - with a selection of some of Monet’s later works and around twenty major paintings by American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Mark Tobey, Sam Francis, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Ellsworth Kelly.

Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris


Joan Mitchell, Navid Nuur, Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille et al.

Painting the Night (group show)
Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz
13 October 2018 - 15 April 2019

Night-time has been a major source of inspiration throughout Art History and continued to fascinate artists during the 20ieth century. Though the idea might seem incongruous at first, “painting the night” is, on the contrary, extremely meaningful. To begin with, night-time has never been pitch black, and even less so since the electricity revolution, also it is at night that one may, physically as well as symbolically, experience a form of “detachment from the world” much sought after by modernity. Dusk could very well be a perfect metaphor for the elusive boundary between figuration and abstraction. This exhibition assembles major works by legendary Avant guards as well as younger generations, together with some spectacular installations by contemporary artists, while following the thread of two distinct yet interrelated orientations: painting the night can mean representing night or painting at night. There is, here, a choice between perfecting our perception of the environment and simply closing one’s eyes. Painting without seeing because one’s perception is obscured or breaking free from the physicality of the retina, that is the question.

Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz