Lovers of the art of Claude Monet can see an imaginative exposition of some of his works juxtaposed with later works of pure abstract art, including works by Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Clifford Still, Lee Krasner, André Masson, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell and others. It makes the case that those works of Monet which pushed pictorial representation into abstraction directly inspired later practitioners of absolute abstraction, many decades after his death. This temporary exposition runs until September 26th, 2010, and displays abstract art lent from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.

The exposition places twenty-two of Monet’s works next to twenty-one sheer abstract works that were executed in the middle of the twentieth century, and invites the viewer to explore the thesis that Monet’s art extended to an examination of his media, and that this exploration was carried on by later artists. Probably unintentionally, it evokes a basic paradox of abstract art: once representation is abandoned altogether, and a world is created in which a work can be anything to anyone, limited only by the viewer’s imagination, art appears to have lost one of its vital aspects, the ability to communicate clearly.

We hope that the imagination and talent that went into creating this exposition will be followed up one day with another that examines the flow of creativity from the other end of the time spectrum. It might be even more compelling to see an exhibition that shows how the exploration of abstraction in the earlier works of Joseph Mallord William Turner and Eugene Boudin energized Monet’s own creativity.

The Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris  is open from 11 am to 6 pm (9 pm Tuesdays), with last entries half an hour before closing, and is closed Mondays,