A review I wrote about the exhibit: MONET From Instant to Eternity
A quote by Cezanne: “Only an eye, but my God what an eye!” Seoul’s Museum of Art (SEMA) presents, “Monet. From Instant to Eternity,” showcasing important works by 19th century impressionist pioneer, Claude Monet.
The exhibition, running until September 26th, is drawing crowds of art enthusiasts as the first retrospective of Claude Monet in Seoul. It concentrates mainly on his water lily series and is comprehensive, divided into five thematic sections: Water Lilies, Portraits of Family, Garden of Giverny, The Seine and the Sea, and Lights of Europe.
Monet’s collection of oils somersault off muted yellow and green walls. The modern, spacious rooms and high ceilings of SEMA are ideal for showcasing the landscapes and portraits, gathered from private collections and over 20 museums, including France's Orsay and Marmottan Museums.
You don't need to know anything about art to enjoy the exhibit. Monet's brilliant compositions and mastery of light’s ephemeral nature demand an audience. His paintings are alive with light, color and movement. Every one conveys a feeling. His operation of painting is made visible through broken brush strokes and unblended colors. He practised his perceptions before nature, as applied to plein-air painting.
The exhibition offers a short film to bring you closer to the artist and his work. See his beloved flowers in the Garden Giverny, which was the inspiration for his success. Monet has said, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” Family photographs provide glimpses into his persona and personal life.
I prefer his paintings that look like sketches. Whether it’s an oil of his wife on the beach or reflections bleeding shocking color, there’s something for everyone. The Iris, in the Garden of Giverny room, seduced me with its simple beauty: loose brush strokes, the white of the canvas, a touch of orange, all evoking spontaneity and effortlessness.
What an eye, indeed! Come see Monet’s works and their effect on modern art, before it’s too late: Monet: From Instant to Eternity 2007. 06. 06. ~ 2007. 09. 26. Seoul Museum of Art
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