Art & Design

   

Monet’s Garden

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I’m the first to admit I fall square into the basket of art hack rather than appreciator. Sure, I love walking around galleries as much as the next person, but I tend to value art by how it makes me feel, rather than technical proficiency or reputation. It isn’t very scientific or necessarily fair, but it works for me.

So when I heard about Monet’s Garden I was game. Monet’s the guy had a thing for lillies and a nice garden right?

Opening last week the NGV has put on a vast exhibition showing 60 Monet works, mostly borrowed from the Musée Marmottan Monet (try saying that three times fast). The new exhibition spans the impressionist’s later work but is inspired by early travels around France, portraiture and of course that garden. It’s fascinating to witness Monet’s work becoming more abstract as his eyesight and personal life deteriorated.

However the biggest thing I took away from this exhibition was simply how moving it was. Standing in front of Monet’s immense works was quite profound – the brush strokes, the minimal colour and the lack of human figures in many of the pieces, meaning you can easily imagine yourself slotted in against that moody Normandy landscape, or guess at what Monet may have been thinking as he painted.

Don’t miss the final room – where massive wraparound screens show a six minute film of Monet’s garden that is a truly immersive experience. And the best part is that when you’re done you can go for a stroll in the neighbouring Botanical Gardens and find your own inspiration.

Monet’s Garden is now showing at the NGV. To find out more visit ngv.vic.gov.au.


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