City Life Org – Acclaimed diptych book series inspires special fall installation at Frick Madison

Claude Monet (French, 1840−1926), Vétheuil in Winter, 1878−1879. Oil on canvas. 27 x 35 3/8 inches. The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

Olafur Eliasson and Claude Monet: from October 20, 2022 to January 22, 2023

In the fall of 2022, the Frick presents a special installation that draws inspiration from the institution’s famous Diptych series of publications. Accompanied by a volume devoted to the work of Claude Monet Vetheuil in winter, the Frick is installing a new work created for the occasion by Olafur Eliasson (born in 1967 in Denmark) alongside Monet’s painting, one of the rare Impressionist works in the museum. The publication, which will appear simultaneously, includes text by Eliasson and an essay by Frick Curator Emerita Susan Grace Galassi. Each book in the Diptych series, launched in 2018, focuses on a single work from the collection, pairing an illuminating essay by a curator with the contribution of a contemporary cultural figure.

Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Curator Peter Jay Sharp, curated the installation and comments, “From our educational programs to our publications, the Frick embraces engagement in art through slow, shared conversation. The structure of our Diptych series illustrates this, and we look forward to the next volume which will focus on Monet. We’re excited that the series has now inspired the creation of an artwork tied to a particular painting by Frick, and we’re excited to bring the book to life, in a sense, by showcasing the paintings together in our galleries. .”

Book cover of Vétheuil in winter by Monet

Monet painted the snowy scene at Vétheuil in 1878-1879, during the first of two extremely harsh winters he and his family spent in the isolated village on the banks of the Seine, halfway between Paris and Rouen. The harshness and gloom of the times echo the hardships he experienced during this time, when his finances were in shambles and his wife’s health was declining. Hypnotized by the seasons and the effect of changing light on water and other objects, Monet preferred to paint outdoors whenever possible.

Alongside the Monet is a new work by Olafur Eliasson, whose practice embraces a variety of media and often studies light, color and perception to increase our understanding of each other and our surroundings. Eliasson began his ongoing series of “color experiments” in 2009, inspired by the idea of ​​producing a complete new color theory that would include all visible colors of the prism. Created on round canvases, often with holes in the center, the works in this series draw their palettes from paintings by artists such as JMW Turner and Caspar David Friedrich and, more recently, from the artist’s own photographs of his native Iceland. .

Color experiment no. 109, 2020. Oil on canvas diam. 44 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist

For Color experiment no. 109—the work created by Eliasson for this project—the Frick made a calibrated color photograph of Vetheuil in winter and sent a high quality print to the artist’s studio in Berlin. Eliasson then extracted the subject’s palette, spreading the colors across the surface of the round canvas in a gradient color wheel, moving from dark to light. The circumference of Eliasson’s painting is large enough to contain Monet’s original, embracing it in the color wheel. The result, after two years of preparation, is a thought-provoking juxtaposition that recalls Monet’s own experiments with light and color and accentuates both the formal qualities and poignant resonance of the original canvas.

The Frick Diptych series is published by The Frick Collection in association with D Giles Ltd., London, sold online via the museum shop at or by email at [email protected] . by Monet Vetheuil in winterby Olafur Eliasson and Susan Grace Galassi will be available Fall 2022 (72 pages, 35 color illustrations, hardcover $29.95, member price $26.96.

Funding for the facility at Frick Madison is generously provided by Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Saul and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.


Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Lars Borges

Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) is a prolific Icelandic-Danish artist who works in a wide range of media and forms – installation, painting, sculpture, photography and film – to address topics related to architecture, ecology, food, education, sustainability, climate change and perception. Over the past two decades he has developed several world-renowned art projects that address our relationship with the environment, the longest running of which is his Weather Project (2003) at Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London. In 2008 he created a Public Art Fund project consisting of four artificial waterfalls placed around New York along the East River.

Eliasson has had solo exhibitions at major institutions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Tate Modern, London; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; SESC Belenzinho, SESC Pompeia and the Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo; and the Venice Biennale. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Kunstmuseum Basel, among others.


Internationally recognized as a leading museum and research centre, the Frick Collection is known for its distinguished Old Master paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts. The collection originated with Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919), who bequeathed his home, paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts to the public for enjoyment. The institution’s collections, which encompass masterpieces from the Renaissance to the 19th century, have grown over the decades, and have more than doubled since the museum opened in 1935. A core part of the institution is the Frick Art Reference Library, founded in 1920 by Helen Clay Frick, daughter of the museum’s founder. Recognized as one of the finest art history research centers in the world, it has served students, scholars, and members of the public free of charge for generations.

The Frick’s historic buildings are currently closed for renovation. Honoring Frick’s architectural heritage, the plan designed by Selldorf Architects will provide unprecedented access to the 1914 residence, while preserving the intimate visitor experience and beloved galleries. The plan will create new spaces for art exhibition, curation, education and programs, while improving amenities and overall accessibility.

During the renovation, the museum and library collections remain accessible five blocks north of Frick Madison, the Marcel Breuer-designed building that once housed the Whitney Museum of American Art. Audiences can enjoy a substantial gathering of Frick highlights, reframed in a setting that inspires new perspectives. Unlike Frick’s usual style of presentation, works at Frick Madison are organized chronologically and by region, allowing for new juxtapositions and perspectives on treasured paintings and sculptures by Bellini, Bronzino, Clodion, Gainsborough, Goya, Holbein, Houdon, Ingres, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Titian, Turner, Velázquez, Vermeer and many others. The installation also highlights Frick’s impressive collections of decorative arts and sculpture, as well as rarely seen works.


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