I always leave Paris w/ a certain pang of sadness, for complicated reasons. I seem to have the Ovidian dynamic of exile ass-backwards… ç’est la vie.

For the record, I went to a great art exhibit today: at the Orangerie, in conjunction w/ the two leminiscate rooms in which Monet’s eight immense “Water Lily” canvases are set, a show of American expressionists (Pollock, Rothko, Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, de Kooning, Sam Francis, Ellsworth Kelly, et al.) all of whom were not only profoundly influenced by Monet, but also basically resurrected him from oblivion & critical dismissal. Hard to believe, but Monet’s Water Lilies at the Orangerie, when they appeared in 1927, were bashed by (French) art critics of the time & generally all his later work thereafter fell into critical disrepute and met with public lack of interest. The Orangerie & Monet’s paintings were damaged during WW2 and after renovation/restoration reopened in 1952. It was at that time that Monet became subject to reappraisal, thanks in large part to all these American artists living in Paris who re-discovered this work first hand.

The point, pretty obvious: sometimes it takes a generation or two & maybe the input from a larger world for any given country’s cultural innovations to get noticed & appreciated.