Author: Thomas

Monet’s “Categories” of Art

Monet’s “Categories” of Art

Comparisons to Monet Bothered This Artist. Now They’re Side by Side.

When the show closed, I wrote the following:

“The most intriguing aspect of this show was the contrast between Monet’s naturalistic views of the world and his later attempts to give them a formal structure and order. He was a man of great faith in the world, but his belief was never the same as a theory of order and order he was never able to define. He tried to give structure to his paintings by giving them some rules, but they were only vague. His paintings themselves are almost entirely a collection of very personal expressions of his feelings and his thoughts.

“These paintings were so personal, in fact, that when people asked him why he painted his landscapes this way, he answered, “Look at these paintings, and then look at the way I painted them.” He could see that the rules had little to do with the subjects and that there should be no artificial rules or even restrictions imposed. Monet’s paintings could be classified in many ways, from the old French “cabinet d’art” to his own word “categories,” and of course in any category the pictures come under different variations of the same idea. In some cases the paintings can be grouped according to their time of completion, in others the way in which they were painted, or whether or not they are landscapes, or even whether they are done in the summer or in the winter. He was able to create many different patterns of classification. But it is not the “cabinet d’art,” or his “categories” of art, that interest me tonight; it’s the contrast that stands out to me as the most compelling part of the paintings. The paintings are at their finest when they can be thought of as being at their most personal.”

As I said, while sitting around with the people I knew, I could tell there were a lot of people who had this same reaction to the Monet paintings. I also learned that a few people from New York and London had already done paintings like the ones in tonight’s exhibition when they were young. And more than a few people have written books about them that attempt to

Leave a Comment