Let’s talk: What did YOU think of Monet’s Water Lilies @ SLAM?

I know a TON of you have gone to exhibition, Monet’s Water Lilies, at the Saint Louis Art Museum, so Arched Art had to talk about it!

The exhibition brings together three large Monet paintings as one, huge, 42 foot tryptich entitled Agapanthus (c. 1915-1926).  Currently, the three sections are split at three museums, but SLAM has brought them together for the first time in over 30 years.   There are also some preparatory paintings, but in all there are under a dozen works.  That’s pretty small for such a hyped-up name, like Monet.  Was it enough for you? Were you satisfied?

My two cents: at first, I was put-off by the small size of the exhibit, as I am, admittedly, accustomed to the kind of huge, blockbuster shows that cause museum fatigue and necessitate a meal afterwards.  But then, I knew that I had to go through the exhibit again, and do it right.  Because of the small size, I found myself really able to read the well curated wall text, see the connections between the preparatory paintings and the larger work, and actually soak up Agapanthus with a more attentive, early 20th century mindset.  I actually gave myself time to sit and meditate with the art, to connect to  it aesthetically and intellectually, instead of shuffling through and elbowing around hoards of people and hallways of minor paintings. It was more like a medium-sized gallery exhibition, which, for me, felt like a breath of fresh air.

But, what I really want to know is- what did you think? Would you recommend it? Want to go to more like it? Or was it a let-down? Comment and let me know!

Monet’s Water Lilies continues at the Saint Louis Art Museum on Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park, St. Louis, MO until 22 January, 2012. SLAM is open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5 and and Friday until 9.  The exhibition is free on Fridays, but advance tickets are still required.  Click here for ticket and additional information.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s talk: What did YOU think of Monet’s Water Lilies @ SLAM?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I reviewed it for the Columbia Journal Tribune http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2011/nov/13/monets-water-lilies-prove-more-than-beautiful-in/ Honestly, I was ready to hate it, but the mystery of the painting grew on me. The WWI thing was surprising, as was the number of times it was painted over. There was plenty of hoopla in some of the initial galleries, but there was something surprisingly substantial about it.

  2. Great article! Thanks for including it in your post. I hadn’t made the connection with the new Beckmann gallery, but the contrast – idealism and ….Beckmann, was a worthy note.

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