POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Claude Monet, L'Allée de Rosiers (1920-1922), J.E.H. MacDonald (a member of The Group of Seven), The Tangled Garden, 1916
Gagosian is only selling one Claude Monet poster from their current show of late works, but the catalogue will be available for purchase on their website sometime next week. Like many people my age, my first acquaintance with Monet was through the ubiquitous reproductions hanging in dorm rooms, so I have a near photographic memory of his waterlilies and bridges. I have significantly less familiarity with his later work, which in its muddy reddish brown palette and loose pictorial style, are far less college friendly paintings.
That’s a shame, not only because the work exhibits unusual energy, but because it’s likely to have influenced other artists. I’ll leave the historical tracing to the historians, but will note that I spent a fair amount of time thinking about Canada’s Group of Seven during the show, a group of landscape painters known to have drawn from European Impressionists. I’m not sure if Monet’s later work fell within their prevue but there are undoubtedly stylistic similarities in the two works pictured above.
While I have the sense contemporary Canadian artists grow a little tired of the Group of Seven, (it would be nice to add one or two more people to the list of house hold name artists in Canada), I’ll use this post as an opportunity to express my wish that the group’s fame reached beyond the country’s borders. For turn of the century landscape painting, you just don’t top these guys.