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'Probably the prettiest thing you could do in Toronto': world-premiere exhibit envelopes visitors in Monet's paintings


Painted more than a century ago, works from the world's most famous impressionist painter are coming to life inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Unlike a traditional art gallery, the works at 'Beyond Monet' are animated, moving across massive screens, filling the walls and ceiling as music plays. From Impression, Sunrise- to his series of water lilies, the paintings of Claude Monet come alive as part of a new, world-premiere experience.

According to Mathieu St-Arnaud, the exhibits creative director, the exhibit was designed "to give the people the opportunity to actually step inside Monet's work - his vision of the world. So go beyond the frame, and really discover his body of work from a different perspective."

Visitors first pass through an area in which several of Monet's works are shown on screens hanging from the ceiling, there are also signs which help the viewer learn more about the artist and his work. Once inside the infinity room, the works come to life, in a 360 degree spectacle.

Toby Saltzman was one of the people who got an early look at the exhibit, during a media preview on the day before it opened in Toronto. She told CTV News, "beyond Monet was beyond my expectations. I absolutely loved it. She added "it's probably the prettiest thing you could do on a day in Toronto."

Art aficionados may notice some striking similarities between the exhibit, and other immersive art exhibits currently underway in the city. The team behind 'Beyond Monet' were also involved in the creation of 'Beyond Van Gogh'. They say there are differences in this exhibition that go beyond just the artist.

"We wanted to kind of amplify the skies" Felix Fradet-Faguy told CTV News. The experience designer said of Monet "he was really about like temperature, weather the search of light so we wanted to bring the sense of immersion not just on the floors, on the walls, but also on the ceiling."

Like other immersive art exhibits, 'Beyond Monet' is designed for the social media set. But the designers have upped the Instagram ante, with replica footbridges and a pavilion built for photo posing. And mirrored circles that line the floor, allowing for a more reflective look at the works. The inspiration, said St-Arnaud, came from Monet himself.

"He would paint a lot of water reflection. He was obsessed toward the end of his life with reflection on water. He would paint the skies on water, so we played a lot with this idea of light of reflection -refraction that was really important and central in his work​​."

The works of Monet will be on display at the MTCC until October 3rd. Top Stories

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