You had better van Gogh to this exhibit

Mike Cullen (Twitter) is a young public servant who is also a regular contributor to (Cult)ure Magazine as a music editorialist. His passions include music, coffee, writing, travel and comic books.

The National Gallery of Canada opened its Van Gogh: Up Close exhibit this past week to critical and popular acclaim.

Featuring dozens of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, covering nearly his entire career, the gallery has arranged with the assistance of galleries and museums both in North America and Europe a spectacular showcase of the man’s work; a man whom received only limited recognition in his lifetime for his contributions to the art world.

People looking for “Starry Night” or “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” are not going to find these universally recognized pieces.

Instead, Van Gogh: Up Close provides viewers the opportunity to see the technical artist behind the man. Painstakingly organized and labelled, what the National Gallery provides is an intimate analysis of van Gogh’s landscapes and still-life work; explaining how the painter worked with microcosms and macrocosms, contrast and colour to create what are now considered some of the most beautiful works in the world. Van Gogh painted as many as 2,100 pieces in a career that only lasted some seven years.

This exhibit was not simply restricted to works by van Gogh, and the National Gallery has pulled works that not only inspired the painter, but greatly influenced his work as well. The inspirations and influences were displayed in a rather ingenious way: rooms featuring van Gogh’s work were painted in pale yellow, works that influenced van Gogh were in rooms painted in pale blue, giving a subconscious clue to the viewer as to what they were about to view.

Two main areas of influences on van Gogh’s work included the emerging use of photography in the 19th Century, and Japanese ink drawings, and are exquisitely displayed in this exhibit.

Van Gogh: Up Close runs from 25 May – 3 Sep, 2012. Crowds for opening weekend were substantial, with line-ups to view the exhibit. This will prove to be a very popular exhibit, so patience is required, but well rewarded for art lovers who take the time to see this fantastic collection of works!

You had better Van Gogh to this exhibit!

Thanks for this great snapshot, Mike! We’re already on our way…