Offering a fresh view of two of the most experimental painters of the 20th century, Monet/Mitchell: Painting the French Landscape is the first exhibition in the U.S. to examine the complex dialogue between the work of French impressionist Claude Monet and American abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell.
The exhibition explores the ways in which Monet and Mitchell engaged with the French landscape. Monet spent his final decades in rural Giverny, some 50 miles to the northwest of Paris, while, from 1968 until 1992, Mitchell lived at nearby Vétheuil, overlooking a house once inhabited by the French painter. Both artists addressed similar themes of trees, earth, water and flowers as well as the inspiration of their own gardens.
The exhibition explores the connections, both in subject matter and technique, that Mitchell shared with Monet. It also shows how her compositional formats, vibrant colors and gestural brushwork offer fascinating parallels with Monet’s.
Monet/Mitchell will present 24 paintings, 12 by each artist. Often monumental in scale and overwhelming in impact, these works highlight the fascination both painters had for expansive, panoramic formats.
The Monet paintings come primarily from the Musée Marmottan Monet, which houses the largest collection of Monet’s work in the world. The paintings by Mitchell are principally drawn from the collection of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. The exhibition will also include two major works from the Saint Louis Art Museum collection: Water Lilies, by Monet, and Ici, one of Mitchell’s poignant final paintings.
Monet/Mitchell will also feature a robust schedule of community and educational programs along with special opportunities for visitors to engage deeply with the works on view, exploring the restorative and meditative potential of these beautiful paintings.
The Saint Louis Art Museum will celebrate Monet/Mitchell with a free, public preview starting at 4 p.m. on March 24.