Collection Spotlight: The Best Of: Impressionism

The Impressionist style has developed into beautiful little irony.

One might think that a movement founded on quick impressions, fleeting moments, and impermanence would glimmer briefly in history and then fade out like the changing light in so many impressionist paintings. But impressionism has outlasted centuries. And that is the delightful irony.

The movement began in the 19th century – a time vibrant with change. Between the amazing scientific discoveries that changed daily life and elaborate steam engines that compressed distances, these wonderful changes also gave a gust of instability. Artists like Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro reacted to their changing world with art that would depict change: Impressionism.

When considering the origins of this movement, it is not so unsurprising that contemporary artists are still working in this style.

With our continuing scientific breakthroughs and ever-updating technology, the rapidity of the contemporary world is not unlike an impressionist painting.    

The Crossing at 59th and 6th  (14" x 18") by Onelio Marrero, oil painting

The Crossing at 59th and 6th (14" x 18") by Onelio Marrero, oil painting

Our collection, “The Best of: Impressionism” shows the way that today’s artists play out the same vision of the earliest impressionists but on a contemporary landscape. These works, like the world, are visions of change.

The collection is a wonderfully contemporary take on the 19th century movement. In carrying on the mission of the Impressionists, these brilliant works prove that the presence of change is something that will never change.

Here are a few highlights from the collection:

Summer in Old Village, Early Evening (16" x 20") by Suren Nersisyan, oil painting

In Summer in Old Village, Early Evening by Suren Nersisyan expresses the beauty in the passage of time through the dramatic sunset in an old village rendered in spontaneous brushstrokes. The evening is a time is an impressionist's time. It suggests change and motion; it is neither night nor day, it is somewhere defined as indefinable and in-between. 

Patricia Fabian's True Colors is the quintessence of Impressionism. The pink and blue petals are illuminated by lighter dabs of paint amid the green in a way that captures light bouncing on a pond. But beyond subject matter, the notion of "truth" posited by the painting's title captures the philosophy of the movement: that one's impression of the world is its truth.  

Oksana Johnson captures impressionism in all of its hometown glory. The painting is set in a Parisian street scene, particularly the artists’ neighborhood Montmartre on a bustling afternoon. She captures the movement’s motif of the verve of city life through the readers, walkers, and shoppers that people the scene. She obscures the details of the scene in her rapid brushstrokes that recreate the vision of a quick glance down a street.