Arts & Entertainment

Step into the immersive world of Claude Monet at Tacoma Armory

The ‘Immersive Exhibition’ about Monet reflects the intricate details and artistic background of his career. 

“The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.” Claude Monet, who was born in Paris, France in 1840 knew he wanted to become painter from an early age. He had no formal education in painting but instead studied under local artists and fellow friend, “Eugène Boudin. Monet believed that nature could be translated to canvas eloquently, if one was willing to listen. Over the first several decades of his life, he dedicated himself to crafting his art and honing his skill.  

He traveled to England in 1970 after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, where he studied how to use color in his art. Here he would begin to create some of the most memorable and iconic works like “Sunrise” (1973) and “Camille in the Garden with Jean and His Nanny” (1973).  

Once Monet gained traction from his artworks, the first “impressionist exhibition” was held in Paris in April of 1874. With his paintings at the exhibit’s forefront, he established himself as the leader of the avant-garde movement, which was considered experimental and aesthetically innovative.  

To celebrate his life and everything his artwork has achieved, the Tacoma Armory is holding an immersive exhibition of his works, where over 200 of his paintings will be showcased. Paintings like “Woman with a Parasol” (1875), “Water Lilies” (1919) and Water Lily Pond” (1900) are just a few of the several works shown.  

The exhibition, which covers more than 30,000 square feet, is the largest immersive exhibition in the country. The 30 feet high walls are covered with animated projections of his artwork. The floor in the exhibition is also covered by digital artwork. Thanks to advanced technology, people can step into the spectacular universe of Claude Monet.  

Claude Monet at Home in flower garden in Giverny, France, 1921. Rachel Meatte  

When you first enter the exhibition, you are greeted by the huge walls that are covered in moving artwork. The hypnotic animation that moves across the walls and floor beneath you is all projecting different paintings at once. The ‘show’ resets every thirty minutes so if you miss an artwork, it will preview again. 

 The exhibition reflects the artwork in detailed close ups and zoomed out landscapes with intricate lighting that illuminates the colorful aesthetics. The painting “Water Lilies” has deep blue ocean hues mixed with light pink and white lilies. Monet creates a peaceful mediation within a flowering garden. On the surface it is a beautiful collage of colorful brushstrokes, but up close it’s a delicate balance of intentional designs.  

“Water Lilies” combines impressionism with expressionism while on the verge of abstract art. It is Monet’s attempt at distinguishing how different lighting can impact spatial cues. At this exact moment, it is the perfect time that reflects the water lilies’ beauty. A slight shift in lighting can change the entire perspective and meaning.   

“This must have taken a long time” says Elisabeth Barkley, a visitor at the exhibition. “Looking at the artwork makes me think of how much attention to detail the creators put into creating something like this. I think they did such a good job at showcasing the intricate details of Claude Monet. I wasn’t really aware of his works and life story. I liked the experience a lot and hope that they can do more exhibitions like this in the future.”  

Previously, the immersive experience covered famous artist Vincent Van Gogh and more than 50 of his works. The exhibition originated in Paris by Master of Digital Art, Massimiliano Siccardi of Italy, who has pioneered the immersive experience for decades. In Paris, where the exhibition was seen by over two million people, the creator and his team were inspired to take the exhibition around the world. In premiered in Toronto, New York and Seattle, where it gained enough traction to bring a second immersive exhibition on the artist Claude Monet. 

For people interested in viewing the exhibition, you can visit the Tacoma Arts Live website to purchase tickets at $34 on weekdays or $39 on weekends. For more info, visit here:  

“The Manneporte” by Claude Monet 1883. Rachel Meatte