Once again we find ourselves underground in the oft artistry laden métro de Paris. Whether it be the classy Louvre station with its collection of sculptures and other art, the buskers offering weary commuters and tourists a bit of music or just the numerous engaging billboards on display, the métro system can be a source of many amusements.
In 2004-05, Turner, Whistler, Monet: Impressionist Visions Exhibition was coming to Paris to the Grand Palais. It featured one hundred paintings, watercolors, pastels and prints, many from private collections that rarely lend out their prized possessions.
Both Whistler and Monet, friends and admirers of Turner, were just arriving in adulthood in 1851, the year of Turner’s death. This exhibition is a study in their “collaboration” one with another as each sought to find his individual way in the world of impressionism.
The style of the billboard we have before us requires a bit of engaged study to fully fathom. Each artist’s name is displayed in grand, bold, sans serif all-cap font. They are listed in the order of each artist’s birth.
We are shown a sliver of the art from all three men. The color play is bold, yet a bit morose. We move from a study in full on orange on the left to a smaller sliver of moody gray to a fog filled piece, as large as the first, with a bright orange moon reflected in the gray water below.
We are deftly told which piece goes with which artist by the placement of a bold line within the respective artwork under a portion of the appropriate name. We move from Whistler to Monet to Turner creating an ad worth pondering. No doubt, a professional printing service did this large print with precision. Look at these guys to get that kind of quality and professionalism.
Conveniently, this ad is placed in the métro station which best serves the Grand Palais, located on the celebrated Champs-Élysées. Pop up from below ground, enjoy the fresh air as you stroll to the Grand Palais, and pop in to a magnificent, one-of-a-kind display of three distinguished artists.
Whoops. You will have to do a bit of time travel to achieve this. Where is Jules Verne when you need him?