The world-renowned works of the famous impressionist painter, Claude Monet, are being showcased in an exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
The exhibition room at the DIA showcases Monet’s work in dim lighting, focusing in on the paintings. The atmosphere is full of wonder. Visitors are seen admiring paintings from afar or examining brushstrokes up close. A woman is seen pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair from painting to painting, explaining in detail what it displays and what the captions say. In another area, a man in his early 50s is seen sketching along to the animated screen of Monet’s painted flowers.
Monet is known for his brushy – yet careful – painting technique, later known as impressionism. He had a way to capture light and air in his paintings, especially in, “Woman with a Parasol,” which is included in the exhibit.
Monet was not just known for his trademark techniques, but with the locations, he chose to paint as well. In his painting, “Rounded Flower Bed (Corbeille de fleurs),” variously colored flowers are in dense patches, alongside his wife. This painting is shown in front of a digitally vast backdrop to place the viewer in an immersive environment to get the feel of where Monet would have painted the piece.
Monet’s first inspirations came from Argenteuil, France, where he was living at the time. From bridges to riverside views, he was surrounded by everything he could need to create his first classic paintings. But when he moved to Giverny, France in 1883, garden environments started to become the main focus of his work and would later be seen as Impressionism. The exhibit showcases and explains his transition from Argenteuil to Giverney.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who Monet met through the Paris art scene, is involved in the exhibit as well. One of Renoir’s paintings, “Claude Monet painting in his garden at Argenteuil,” is showcased. Even though Monet is the center of this exhibit, some visitors are stepping into the DIA just for a glance at a Renoir painting; for example, Samantha Meyer, an attendee, said her favorite part of the exhibit was, “The Renoir paintings,” adding that they were striking her the most.
Besides Renoir, the techniques displayed in Monet’s paintings are enough to take the trip to the DIA. Bob, from Oak Park, says he came to see the exhibit because he is currently taking local painting classes and beginning to paint oil paintings. He wanted to take some notes on Monet’s techniques with oil painting and complexities of color.
Oak Park, Michigan, is not the farthest attendees have traveled from. According to Kayla Young, a security guard for the exhibit, visitors from Canada and Germany are seen browsing the collection. A woman from France was even seen correcting a family on their pronunciation of “Argenteuil.” The DIA is attracting many people to this exhibit and upon closer look, we can see how huge of an impact this is for the city of Detroit.
Young, the security guard, said, “It’s cool that it’s [Monet exhibit] here at the DIA, and to have these big, fancy and famous artists.”
One visitor, Sandy, who was accompanying Bob, the aforementioned man, shared her hope for art to be the catalyst for the revitalization of Detroit.
“Arts and culture are what defines life in a city,” she said. “This [art] feeds my soul.” Her enthusiastic grin and excitement to be there gives hope for the future of arts and culture in Detroit.
Monet: Framing Life will be at the Detroit Institute of Arts until March 4, 2018.