Van Gogh/Gauguin at Van Gogh Museum through June 2
On arriving somewhat later than planned, Gauguin took over the wayward cuisine from a nervous Van Gogh (aware of how accidents happen with kitchen knives). Gauguin slipped easily into pole position in the yellow house. Then it was late in the year, and ‘plein air’ was replaced by painting indoors. In the final conjunction, following rational visits to local brothels (to eliminate serious dalliance), they painted each other. It was on the verge of Gauguin’s tactful departure from the joint enterprise that Van Gogh sliced off own his ear. Never can a portrait have upset its subject quite so much. The exhibition contains some 35 paintings. The highpoint of the exhibition is the comparative critique possible when both artists had painted the same subjects. Van Gogh’s versions, such as Le Café Rouge, or Les Alycamps, show how little he need have worried, despite Gauguin’s burgeoning success in Paris, since his work shines through, eclipsing that of the more pedestrian Gauguin. Two years later Van Gogh killed himself: Gauguin survived. Encapsulating this creative saga, the Van Gogh Museum has pulled of a brilliant and virtuoso display of curatorial supremacy at a time when ‘duets’ have become over-reaching to say the least.
Van Gogh To Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape In Europe 1880–1910
This exhibition is well conceived in principle and excellently hung; landscape here, is the clear unifying thread that sustains a plethora of styles. The authors of the catalogue are emphatic that Symbolism was not a single style and from a curatorial point of view this freer premise is a relief from such constraints
Impressionist Gardens. National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh, 2010
We review this outstanding exhibition, which moves on to Madrid imminently, able to report that visitor numbers amounted to some 90,000, a highly commendable success. Edinburgh of course is the capital of a nation of gardening enthusiasts at all levels.
The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters
Van Gogh is almost unique in his fame: not just the epitome of the modern-artist-as-tragic-hero, but perhaps even the origin of the whole paradigm. As is admitted in the exhibition catalogue this fame now rests on the
Self-Portrait: Renaissance to Contemporary
'Self-Portrait: Renaissance to Contemporary' explores self-portraits over 500 years. It includes 56 self-portraits in oil by 56 artists. The historic development is mapped in terms of the artists' perceptions of themselves as well as the development in naturalism through the use of oil paint, invented in the 15th century. The paintings assembled include some very fine and valuable works on loan from major collections around the world.