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The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the last Monet

The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the last Monet

From 13 April 2018 to 20 August 2018

The Water Lilies by Monet has a special place in art and culture. The work has transcended other pieces to become incredibly significant. That significance is the subject of a current exhibition at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. 


Water Lilies, American Abstract Painting and the last Monet, celebrates an important moment in art history.

The story goes that it was one painting, rather than the Impressionist era, that sparked a change in approach in American art. Monet’s The Water Lilies was displayed to the public in New York’s MOMA in 1955. This was a chance for American audiences, and its artists, to view this revered painting. This exhibition is said to have sparked a shift. Abstract Impressionism was that moment of cultural collision when the Abstract Expressionist movement brought in those Impressionist influences.

It is easy to fixate on the star of this show – Monet and his Water Lilies. But, this show is just as much about the American work he inspired. It is a rare treat to see masters of this 20th-century era next to the French impressionists they looked to emulate. There are twenty works from leading American artists. Among the most well-known – and most likely to draw the crowds – are Pollock and Rothko.

Could this exhibition spark something new in this chain of art history?

The Water Lilies inspired many when they left France for New York. The question now is whether this visit from the American masters will inspire something new itself. This intriguing Monet exhibition is already underway in Paris' Musée de l'Orangerie – running between April 13th and August 20th.