Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Fundación Caja Madrid
Monet and Abstraction re-examines the work of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet in the light of his crucial role in the development of Abstract Expressionism and other forms of painterly abstraction in the first decades of the second half of the twentieth century. Monet was able to transform the Impressionists’ observation of nature into a new apprehension of the artistic medium, and his manner of expressing his own subjective experience through purely pictorial means brought him to the threshold of abstraction.
Monet’s work remained almost totally forgotten during the years in which the revolutionary aesthetic languages of the avant-garde—based primarily on the concept of “construction”—came to predominate. Beginning in the 1950s, however, there was a veritable Monet
revival. The young exponents of Abstract Expressionism, newly triumphant in America, and the followers of Art Informel and similar tendencies in Europe now elevated Monet as the “father of Modernism”.
At the two venues, the exhibition is divided into a series of thematic strands in which Monet’s paintings are juxtaposed with works by his successors in abstraction, in order to draw attention to parallels and coincidences that will enrich the viewer’s experience. In sum, our objective is that this oblique perspective, this criss-cross of gazes that constitutes the plot of the exhibition, should allow one not only to discover something new about Monet through the abstract painters, but also something new about abstraction, through Monet.