Monet: The Late Years
Kimbell Art Museum
If the claim that impressionism is light holds true, Claude Monet was the equivalent of the sun as what he emitted affected the world of art in every facet. The later years were defined by a hiatus caused by the departure of his second wife and eldest son, after which he reinvented himself through a deep dive into abstract large scale works that were channelled through the lenses of an artist that suffered from cataracts.
The opulently illustrated book showcases more than sixty canvases that are arranged according to themes and a chronological timeline, which towards the end shows the artist revisiting some of his earliest paintings and reinterpreting them.
What I have always found intriguing about Monet, is how powerful his paintings are despite the serene environments and floral focus they were centred around. Towards the end of his career, he managed to create panoramas that created an immersive, all encompassing experience, specifically by adding additional dimensions to his earlier work.
Subtleties in terms of colourful nuances and the dialogue between lighting / shading, add depth and room for interpretation far beyond the realm of what meets the eye.
His failing eyesight certainly contributed to the intrigue of his latter paintings that became intensely abstract, with subject matter blurred beyond recognition and with that borderline expressionist and very bold.
If so far you have only been familiar with Monet’s water-lily paintings, this catalogue will be a treat as the range of his oeuvre is surprisingly diverse.
A great ode to an artist that was obsessed by the desire to paint the natural world– a desire that was only amplified during his late sensitive years and the outcome of which are what became known as his greatly imaginative large-scale Grandes Décorations.