This exhibit, organized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, stretches the time period between Impressionism and Abstract Art.
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1914
Monet was intent on capturing the light and movement in the scene, attempting to evoke feelings from the viewer. In Impressionism the subject matter is real, the colors are bright and the artists used large brushstrokes and contrasting colors to give vitality to their paintings.
Maximilien Luce, Gisors Cathedral, View from the Tanners’ Canal
As art moved into Neo-Impressionism or Pointillism there are still many similarities such as bright contrasting colors and real subject matters. Now the brush strokes are becoming smaller, almost dot-like, and the emphasis is turning away from capturing movement. The paintings capture mood and are becoming more two-dimensional in nature.
Paul Signac, Saint-Tropez. Fontaine des Lices
Here you can really see pointillism start to take shape, and you can see the vitality that using contrasting colors next to one another gives the scene.
Maximilien Luce, Rocks in the Ocean, 1893
Louis Valtat, The Red Rocks, 1906
You can see the difference 13 years has made. Rocks on the Ocean is still impressionistic but you can see the brush strokes are getting smaller. There is still emphasis on the mood and the motion of the ocean. In the Red Rocks there is an emphasis on color, particularly contrasting color, the small brush strokes are obvious throughout the piece, rocks and ocean. The colors are vivid. The shapes are becoming more two-dimensional in nature. There is less emphasis on movement and the scene is becoming flat.
Theo Van Rysselberghe, Windmill in Flanders
An example of pointillism in Belgium, there is still traditional perspective being used. The colors used on the field evoke spring flowers. The colors on the side of the mill evoke a rough-hewn and aged siding. From afar the colors blend together but on closer view you can really see the brushstrokes stand out.
Henri Edmond Cross, Landscape with Le Cap Negre
This is such a fun piece and a great example of the movement. There are two couples in this painting that are almost indistinguishable from the background, can you see them? They are little more than a few brushstrokes. You can cheat below, but can you also see the horse and worker?
Even Monet was affected by the world around him. In his Weeping Willow from 1918 you can see the changes that have taken place. This painting is darker, less concerned with light and not at all concerned with movement. The mood here reflects the difficulties the world was experiencing through WWI.
Odilon Redon, Pegasus
Odilon Redon, The Spider
Odilon Redon, The Egg
Paul Ranson, The Edge of the Woods
Paul Ranson, The Young Girl and Death
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Japanese Sofa
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec embodies French poster making at the end of the 19th Century. Here we see the developments in painting moving over into the graphic arts. Big blocks of color, two-dimensionality and a flat cartoonish look rule the day. Print making was more accessible, reproducible and therefore cheaper. This was an art form for the masses, not to mention the advertisers.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Troupe of Mademoiselle Eglantine
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec