Claude Monet: Late Work and The Group of Seven

by Art Fag City on May 11, 2010 · 28 comments Reviews

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
art fag city, monet,  J.E.H. MacDonald
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.

  • http://www.theartemporium.ca Merete Kristiansen

    This post pleases me immensely as I work in an art gallery with more works by the Group of Seven than any other commercial gallery in the world. I always love to hear about their recognition across the border.

  • http://www.theartemporium.ca Merete Kristiansen

    This post pleases me immensely as I work in an art gallery with more works by the Group of Seven than any other commercial gallery in the world. I always love to hear about their recognition across the border.

  • http://www.theartemporium.ca Merete Kristiansen

    This post pleases me immensely as I work in an art gallery with more works by the Group of Seven than any other commercial gallery in the world. I always love to hear about their recognition across the border.

  • http://hypothete.blogspot.com Hypothete

    Fun fact: Claude Monet had cataracts removed in 1923, and his natural lenses in his eyes were replaced with glass ones. This gave him the ability to see some ultraviolet light (your corneas usually block it). This had a major influence on Monet’s later paintings, and he found his changed color perception discouraging. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/04/04/8255929/index.htm

  • http://hypothete.blogspot.com Hypothete

    Fun fact: Claude Monet had cataracts removed in 1923, and his natural lenses in his eyes were replaced with glass ones. This gave him the ability to see some ultraviolet light (your corneas usually block it). This had a major influence on Monet’s later paintings, and he found his changed color perception discouraging. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/04/04/8255929/index.htm

  • http://duanelinklater.com duane

    you sense right Paddy,

    omg, the group of seven (better them, than modernism in AB, SK)
    from grade 7 to today they are still and shall ever be somewhere sometime….

    having said that there are quite a few “Canadian” artists who are household names….

  • http://duanelinklater.com duane

    you sense right Paddy,

    omg, the group of seven (better them, than modernism in AB, SK)
    from grade 7 to today they are still and shall ever be somewhere sometime….

    having said that there are quite a few “Canadian” artists who are household names….

  • http://duanelinklater.com duane

    you sense right Paddy,

    omg, the group of seven (better them, than modernism in AB, SK)
    from grade 7 to today they are still and shall ever be somewhere sometime….

    having said that there are quite a few “Canadian” artists who are household names….

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I would argue that The Group of Seven are better known amongst the Canadian public than say, Edward Burtynsky. Of course I haven’t lived in Canada for ten years, so maybe I’m wrong?

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I would argue that The Group of Seven are better known amongst the Canadian public than say, Edward Burtynsky. Of course I haven’t lived in Canada for ten years, so maybe I’m wrong?

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I would argue that The Group of Seven are better known amongst the Canadian public than say, Edward Burtynsky. Of course I haven’t lived in Canada for ten years, so maybe I’m wrong?

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I would argue that The Group of Seven are better known amongst the Canadian public than say, Edward Burtynsky. Of course I haven’t lived in Canada for ten years, so maybe I’m wrong?

  • http://www.ArtexpoChicago.com Christine

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, how Canadian greats (whether artists or authors) so seldom reach widespread acclaim in the U.S.

    Consider Canada’s renowned Emily Carr (what a wonderful character and writer, as well as a phenomenal artist). To this day, very few American artists are familiar with her work (even after the 3-woman retrospective that was on tour a few years back, with Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe and Emily Carr).

  • http://www.ArtexpoChicago.com Christine

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, how Canadian greats (whether artists or authors) so seldom reach widespread acclaim in the U.S.

    Consider Canada’s renowned Emily Carr (what a wonderful character and writer, as well as a phenomenal artist). To this day, very few American artists are familiar with her work (even after the 3-woman retrospective that was on tour a few years back, with Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe and Emily Carr).

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Great literary authors (from outside the U.S.) do better throughout the world than great visual artists. (not sure why)

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Great literary authors (from outside the U.S.) do better throughout the world than great visual artists. (not sure why)

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Great literary authors (from outside the U.S.) do better throughout the world than great visual artists. (not sure why)

  • http://scumblr.tumblr.com Ben

    Yes, the Group of Seven still reigns triumphant. Most Canadian homes seem equally as likely to have a Harris or Jackson or MacDonald print as a Monet. Perhaps less likely a print than a calendar, actually.

    Regarding Emily Carr– I sometimes wonder about how well-known she is in Canada, even. My perspective is probably skewed, being brought up in a house full of turn of the century Canadian landscapes, but throughout unending Canadian art classes in college, it seemed that Tom Thompson was well-known, and even often simply included in the ‘Group of Seven’ cohort, but students rarely seemed to be as conscious of Emily Carr, despite there even being an art school named after her!

    You know what I can’t understand though, regarding the relative consciousness around Canadian art particularly within Canada itself, is how few people I’ve encountered (again, even in art school) who were aware of the Automatistes, despite there being the most amazing commercials in the 90′s showing Borduas painting and reciting from Refus Global.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkYysSvAmzU

    Saying no to Breton: bad career move on their part?

  • http://scumblr.tumblr.com Ben

    Yes, the Group of Seven still reigns triumphant. Most Canadian homes seem equally as likely to have a Harris or Jackson or MacDonald print as a Monet. Perhaps less likely a print than a calendar, actually.

    Regarding Emily Carr– I sometimes wonder about how well-known she is in Canada, even. My perspective is probably skewed, being brought up in a house full of turn of the century Canadian landscapes, but throughout unending Canadian art classes in college, it seemed that Tom Thompson was well-known, and even often simply included in the ‘Group of Seven’ cohort, but students rarely seemed to be as conscious of Emily Carr, despite there even being an art school named after her!

    You know what I can’t understand though, regarding the relative consciousness around Canadian art particularly within Canada itself, is how few people I’ve encountered (again, even in art school) who were aware of the Automatistes, despite there being the most amazing commercials in the 90′s showing Borduas painting and reciting from Refus Global.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkYysSvAmzU

    Saying no to Breton: bad career move on their part?

  • http://scumblr.tumblr.com Ben

    Yes, the Group of Seven still reigns triumphant. Most Canadian homes seem equally as likely to have a Harris or Jackson or MacDonald print as a Monet. Perhaps less likely a print than a calendar, actually.

    Regarding Emily Carr– I sometimes wonder about how well-known she is in Canada, even. My perspective is probably skewed, being brought up in a house full of turn of the century Canadian landscapes, but throughout unending Canadian art classes in college, it seemed that Tom Thompson was well-known, and even often simply included in the ‘Group of Seven’ cohort, but students rarely seemed to be as conscious of Emily Carr, despite there even being an art school named after her!

    You know what I can’t understand though, regarding the relative consciousness around Canadian art particularly within Canada itself, is how few people I’ve encountered (again, even in art school) who were aware of the Automatistes, despite there being the most amazing commercials in the 90′s showing Borduas painting and reciting from Refus Global.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkYysSvAmzU

    Saying no to Breton: bad career move on their part?

  • http://justinsimoni.com Justin Simoni

    Yikes, Check out different shots of, L’Allée de Rosiers:

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=L%E2%80%99All%C3%A9e+de+Rosiers&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    Seeing a lot of Monets in my time and having visited his garden in the height of its growth, those colors don’t look right – even with the UV-Super-Vision-Mutant story. I think someone was a little over eager to, “correct” the colors, or someone just wanted to make sure they were *really really* like, The Tangled Garden.

    Maybe it looks more like this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Claude_Monet_025.jpg

  • http://justinsimoni.com Justin Simoni

    Yikes, Check out different shots of, L’Allée de Rosiers:

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=L%E2%80%99All%C3%A9e+de+Rosiers&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    Seeing a lot of Monets in my time and having visited his garden in the height of its growth, those colors don’t look right – even with the UV-Super-Vision-Mutant story. I think someone was a little over eager to, “correct” the colors, or someone just wanted to make sure they were *really really* like, The Tangled Garden.

    Maybe it looks more like this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Claude_Monet_025.jpg

  • sally mckay

    When I taught 20th century Canadian art history last year I wished that I could just skip the Gof7, especially Lawren Harris. He was far and away the most prominent Canadian artist in many of the students’ minds (3rd year art & art history students) and they revered him (or at least they seemed to think they were supposed to say they revered him, despite my ongoing claims to the contrary). Emily Carr ran a close 2nd, but she’s more fun to talk about in class because you can get right into the colonial stuff and everyone gets all hot under the collar.

  • sally mckay

    When I taught 20th century Canadian art history last year I wished that I could just skip the Gof7, especially Lawren Harris. He was far and away the most prominent Canadian artist in many of the students’ minds (3rd year art & art history students) and they revered him (or at least they seemed to think they were supposed to say they revered him, despite my ongoing claims to the contrary). Emily Carr ran a close 2nd, but she’s more fun to talk about in class because you can get right into the colonial stuff and everyone gets all hot under the collar.

  • sally mckay

    When I taught 20th century Canadian art history last year I wished that I could just skip the Gof7, especially Lawren Harris. He was far and away the most prominent Canadian artist in many of the students’ minds (3rd year art & art history students) and they revered him (or at least they seemed to think they were supposed to say they revered him, despite my ongoing claims to the contrary). Emily Carr ran a close 2nd, but she’s more fun to talk about in class because you can get right into the colonial stuff and everyone gets all hot under the collar.

  • sally mckay

    I was really surprised to find out that the big Automatiste show that toured to the Albright Knox in Buffalo this winter was the first ever Automatiste show in the USA. weird. I saw it in Ontario at the Varley…it was a great show.

  • sally mckay

    I was really surprised to find out that the big Automatiste show that toured to the Albright Knox in Buffalo this winter was the first ever Automatiste show in the USA. weird. I saw it in Ontario at the Varley…it was a great show.

  • sally mckay

    I was really surprised to find out that the big Automatiste show that toured to the Albright Knox in Buffalo this winter was the first ever Automatiste show in the USA. weird. I saw it in Ontario at the Varley…it was a great show.

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