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 in reality, 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.
Our collection, “The Best of: Impressionism” shows the way that today’s artists playout the same vision of the earliest impressionists but on a contemporary landscape. These works, like the world, are visions of change.
Here are four highlights from the collection:
Stefan Conka’s Evening on the Field expresses the beauty in the passage of time. Even the word “evening” in painting’s title suggests change and motion; it is neither night nor day, it is somewhere indefinable in-between. The elements of the composition underscore this sense of change: the dirt road, the windblown stems, and near-elusive gradation of the sky. The aggregation of all the painting’s elements show the natural beauty in change.
This acrylic painting Tyson Robert’s is a bouquet of energy. Though certainly a contemporary interpretation of the Impressionist style, there is a clear sense of movement – one of the Impressionist’s main ambitions. The gestural and expressive flower burst outwardly in their bold colors. His use of quick brushstrokes and the tactility of paint give an energetic dynamism.
In Yellow Bag, Bertrand Girard uses a subject favorited by the 19th Century Impressionists: the café scene. Positioned on the bridge between realism and impressionism, Yellow Bag shows a passing moment in a restaurant. Unlike more posed figurative work, this painting catches these figures mid-action. The scene becomes narrative. Bertrand’s use of light adds an impressionistic layer of complexity; the shadows, like a simplified impression of the physical world, enrich the scene with a reminder of the fleetingness of time.
Clément Nivert interprets the impressionists with a modern zoom into abstraction. Clément’s use of color and texture give the sense of movement and liveliness that evokes light catching the ripples of a watery surface. The color choices blend together in a tonal harmony steeped in the natural world.
The collection as a whole becomes 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.