PROVIDENCE - Marcel Duchamp. Gerhard Richter. Maybe Gabriel Orozco and Olafur Eliasson: These are the sorts of names you might expect a contemporary artist on the make to drop when listing influences and inspirations. Not too many contemporary artists, however, claim Claude Monet as an abiding influence.
To his credit, Spencer Finch does. His show, “Painting Air,’’ which opened last week at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, reveals a deep debt to the bearded old Impressionist, beloved by the hoards, yawned at by the eye-rolling in-crowd.