Joan Mitchell is one of the few women artists that got recognized as such during their lives in the mid-20th century. She belongs to the Abstract Expressionism, working in a way that is very similar to Willem de Kooning or Franz Kline.
Although being owned by the Centre Pompidou, this work is exhibited now at the Orangerie in Paris, the museum in the Tuileries gardens famous for hosting Monet’s Waterlilies. You could wonder why someone made this choice, since they seem to have nothing in common.
At the beginning of the century, when Monet was at the end of his career, he was very famous but already considered as making “old art”. What his contemporary were not seeing was how advanced his way of painting was in reality: if you look at one of the Waterlilies, for example, the style is almost abstract, with spontaneous gestures that seem an anticipation of Abstract Expressionism. In fact, it was only with the Abstract Expressionism that Monet was recognized again for being still very modern. The American artists involved in abstraction in the ’50s were admiring Monet’s work, Joan Mitchell was doing so to the point that she moved to France, in the former Monet’s house near Giverny in the ’60s.
This painting, The Goodbye Door, is clearly resembling a garden, with its green and blue colors. The comparis with Monet is then clear.
This work is a great example of how art history and different kind of arts can communicate together to create something new, unique, beautiful.