I was extremely lucky that in the week I was in Basel, the Fondation Beyeler had an exhibition of some of Monet’s works. It was a privilege and a delight to be able to see his works up close. Museum policy forbade me from using my camera but I was able to use a friend’s point-and-shoot clicker to take these shots.
Impressionism is probably the last art movement that I can identify with and appreciate; cubism and the rest fail to move me. The ability to capture so much of the moment in their almost wild brush-strokes is sheer genius.
Monet based a series of works on the fields around Giverny, many of them focussed on haystacks. I doubt anyone before him would have chosen such an everyday object as his/her subject, but he not only chose it but elevated it to art. The sunlight filtering through the trees colors the grass, the angled trunks and blurring strokes give the impression of movement and in the midst of all this, the humble haystack remains solid, stable, the off-centre anchor of the canvas.