Friday, January 8, 2010

The Real Van Gogh

"The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters" opens January 23rd at the Royal Academy in London -- the first van Gogh retrospective exhibition in Britain for quite some time -- and buzz is starting to build. Check out the excellent articles by Martin Gayford in the Times Online and by Mark Hudson in the Telegraph.

2010 also marks the 120th anniversary of Vincent's death in 1890. The newest issue of the New Yorker apparently has an article entitled "Van Gogh's Ear," which re-examines theories of his illness and suicide. I've not seen this yet but will soon.

I'm pleased that the republication of Vincent's letters this past October and the accompanying exhibition in Amsterdam, the new exhibition in London, and the anniversary are prompting reconsideration of van Gogh's place in art history and his identity as an artist. Let's put those mad-genius clichés to rest, already! The real van Gogh is far more complex and far more interesting.

3 comments:

好悶 said...

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Michelle said...

What a great year for van Gogh so far!! I haven't seen this much attention, but then again I never really looked until last semester. I am thrilled that society is giving a second look into the past and life of a very complex and interesting artist. Only wish that Vincent was here to see his fame preceed his reputation.

Sheramy said...

Hi Michelle! :-)
The New Yorker article is really good. I wish we'd had it available to read together in class last semester. Heck, for that matter, I wish we could all schlep to London for the exhibition!