PITTSBURGH, PA.- Carnegie Museum of Art
presents a new exhibition that explores the enduring theme of industry in art through the lens of Claude Monet and his contemporaries.
Although the Impressionists are often remembered for their bright landscapes and scenes of everyday life, Monet and others were equally fascinated by the modern industrial landscapes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a focus on Paris and London. Artists such as Camille Pissarro and James Abbott McNeill Whistler frequently captured the atmosphere of the urban environment, turning the billowing smoke of industry into hazy, dreamlike clouds that evoke the power and promise of modernization.
This presentation features selections from Monet's Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process, an exhibition organized by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. CMOA's own Monet painting, Waterloo Bridge, London (1903), will be presented alongside two others from the series ohn loan from the Memorial Art Gallery and Worcester Art Museum. Visitors are invited to examine recent scientific analysis of the canvases by art conservators through in-gallery digital interactives. Findings include the identification of which pigments Monet used and the process by which he rendered his compositions.
"This presentation contextualizes Monet with other artists who responded to the atmosphere and promise of industry," says May. "Monet and the Modern City offers many avenues for exploration, from the lively Impressionist cityscapes of Pissarro to the smoky, realistic depictions of Pittsburgh from Laboureur."
A transition takes place as you move through the gallery, shifting the spotlight from Monet's serial paintings to related works by artists who rose to prominence before and after the famous French painter. Pittsburgh is represented in works by the Norwegian Impressionist Fritz Thaulow, French printmaker Jean-Emile Laboureur, who depicted the city's industrial aesthetic in his Ten Etchings of Pittsburgh, and Americans Aaron Gorson and Joseph Pennell, among others. These works place the city's landscape into conversation with depictions of Paris and London, and present other examples of artists working in a serial mode.
Monet and the Modern City is organized by Akemi May, assistant curator of fine arts at Carnegie Museum of Art.