Houston’s captivating new Monet is America’s largest immersive art experience — watch the paintings come to life

Lighthouse Immersive, the company that brought Immersive Van Gogh and Immersive Frida Kahlo to more than five million viewers in the United States, presents its third large-scale art experience: Immersive Monet & The Impressionists.

This fascinating tribute to the work of the 19th-century Impressionist movement should be considered a must-read for art lovers, historians, and anyone who enjoys beautiful sensory experiences in this reviewer’s opinion.

At the interactive exhibition Immersive Monet & The Impressionists in Houston, one word stands out: scale.

Lighthouse ArtSpace Houston, which has also hosted Van Gogh and Kahlo shows, spans 25,000 square feet of exhibition space. This creates the largest immersive art experience in the country, with 500,000 cubic feet of projections displayed on four walls and even on the floor, bathing viewers in light and color and creating a dazzling 360-degree art spectacle.

More than 1.2 million video frames were used in the creation of the hour-long animation that takes part in this exhibition.

Viewers view a tranquil painting in Immersive Monet & The Impressionists. (Photo by Patrick Hodgon)

Needless to say, this is not your usual art museum experience. From the moment the lights go down, the paintings come to life around you. Composer Luca Longobardi brings an additional sonic dimension to the stunning visuals, with classical orchestral music that ebbs and flows in sync with the colors and shapes of the paintings.

Through the stunning work of Vittorio Guidotti, Creative Director of Animations, the elements of the various paintings are transformed and combined into one another as the projection moves through the chronological works of the Impressionists. The brush strokes shimmer and swirl as if the masterpieces are being painted before your eyes.

Digital artist and creator Massimiliano Sicardi is world-renowned for his video set designs, and his talent is at the center of this latest installment of the Immersive series.

Immersive Monet & The Impressionists is co-produced with Impact Museums, a studio that runs several interactive museum experiences in support of social causes. To design this exhibition, the two companies collaborated with set designer Rowan Doyle, whose credits include Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition.

The cave exhibition hall in
The cavernous exhibition gallery at Immersive Monet & The Impressionists is bursting with vibrant colour. (Photo by Patrick Hodgon)

The Impressionist movement was characterized by artists’ depictions of light and movement, often illustrated through short, thin brushstrokes in still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. This renowned group of artists dedicated to capturing precious moments – a sunrise, a sunset, a picnic or even a bowl of apples – is fully revealed in this exhibition.

The subjects of Impressionist paintings ranged from gardens with rich trees, flowers and fruit to cityscapes, seascapes, the sky at different times of the day, party scenes and even the French railway.

Oscar-Claude Monet is known as the leader and founder of the Impressionist style in painting. His painting from 1872 Print, Rising Sun (Impression, Sunrise) gives the name of the movement. Today he is perhaps best known for his depictions of water lilies and bodies of water.

In addition to showcasing Monet’s work, the exhibit also highlights Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and many others.

The immersive Monet and the Impressionists is on view through August 14 at 1314 Brittmoore Road. You can purchase tickets ($34.99 for adults, $19.99 for children 6 to 16) here.

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