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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Monet & Friends

It's from the same team as 'Van Gogh Alive' — and you'll be able to step through a heap of famed 19th- and early 20th-century artworks.
By Sarah Ward
February 27, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
February 27, 2021
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2020 didn't bring much that sparked joy, but it did let Sydneysiders wander through a large-scale, multi-sensory Vincent van Gogh exhibition that projected Dutch master's works onto walls, columns and floors. In 2021, art lovers will be able to repeat the feat, this time with a heap of French Impressionist masterpieces — because Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Colour is heading to town from March.

The idea behind Monet & Friends is the same as its predecessor. It stems from the same team as well. As you wander around the Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park from Friday, March 12, you'll feast more than just your eyes on huge projections of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne and Edgar Degas' work. Light, colour, sound and fragrance are also all part of the exhibition, which is designed to make you feel as if you're walking right into the hefty array of paintings.

The list of 19th- and early 20th-century artists showcased goes on, too, including Édouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley and Mary Cassatt. Also featured are Gustave Caillebotte, Armand Guillaumin and Henri-Edmond Cross, plus Paul Signac and Georges Seurat.

Once more, the project is the brainchild of Melbourne-based Grande Exhibitions, which, for the past 16 years, has hosted immersive exhibitions and gallery experiences in over 145 cities around the world. The company also owns and operates Rome's Museo Leonardo da Vinci. For Monet & Friends, it's once again using state-of-the-art technology that combines 40 high-definition projectors to create multi-channel visuals, all while a classical musical score accompanies the vibrant colours in cinema-quality surround sound.

When you're peering at pieces by the 15 featured artists, you'll be doing so in a socially distanced setting — with visitor numbers restricted to maintain enough space (which will exceed the one person per four-square-metres required by New South Wales' COVID-19 rules). So, that means that you'll have less company than you'd usually expect at a big exhibition of French Impressionist art. It also means that sessions are probably likely to get booked out quicker than normal, though.

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