The Louis Vuitton Foundation presents “Monet – Mitchell”, an exhibition that proposes for the first time a visual, artistic, sensory and poetic dialogue between the works of two exceptional artists: Claude Monet (1840-1926), with his Water Lilies series, and Joan Mitchell (1925-1992). This exhibition will be complemented by «Joan Mitchell Retrospective», a retrospective of the work of Joan Mitchell that will bring her work closer to the European public.


This fall (2022), the Fondation Louis Vuitton is pleased to partner with the Musée Marmottan Monet (France), which proudly boasts the world’s largest collection of works by Claude Monet, to present “Monet – Mitchell”, an exhibition faithful to the dialogue between the last works of Claude Monet (1914–1926), the Water Lilies series, and the work of the American artist Joan Mitchell. With a unique scope and poetic force, the “Monet – Mitchell” exhibition will be available from October 5, 2022 to February 27, 2023 and will span eight galleries, from the ground floor to the upper floors. The Joan Mitchell retrospective, which will be exhibited on the ground floor of the Frank Gehry building and will take place simultaneously.


Recognition of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies came in the United States in the 1950s, where abstract expressionist painters saw them as the forerunners of abstraction. After André Masson, Clement Greenberg, the famous American critic, took a position in defense of his modernity: «What [Monet] discovered, however, in the end was not so much something new as a larger principle, and not it is not in nature, as he thought, but in the essence of art itself, in the “abstraction” of art». In the context of “Monet’s Resurrection,” in 1957 and 1958, Mitchell participated in exhibitions devoted to the notion of “Abstract Impressionism,” a term coined by her friend Elaine de Kooning. The reconciliation between the two artists was greatly reinforced when Joan Mitchell moved in 1968 to Vétheuil to a house near where Monet lived between 1878 and 1881. It was, however, there that Joan Mitchell asserted her full artistic independence.


Monet and Mitchell developed against the same landscape of the banks of the Seine a pictorial approach that they defined with similar terms, which Monet referred to as “sensation” and Mitchell as “feelings”. The natural settings of the Paris region inspired both artists to share a fine sensibility for light and color, the interaction of which forms the basis of their art. Through the use of hedonistic color and vibrant light, Mitchell shared evocations of feelings and memories. Monet’s late works were marked by the abandonment of formal contours in favor of color, which he defined by capturing fleeting light. Evoking foliage, water, and atmosphere, Monet and Mitchell’s energetic, gestural canvases reflect their mutual affinity with the landscape.


Through some 60 emblematic works by both artists, the exhibition offers the public a captivating and immersive journey accentuated with striking visual and thematic parallels. 36 works by Claude Monet, including 25 large canvases that belong to the Marmottan Monet Museum, offer a summary of the Water Lilies, characterized by being large-scale works (200x200m). These paintings, rarely presented without a frame, dialogue with the 24 works of Joan Mitchell.