The Van Gogh Foundation of Arles, in the south of France, opened to the public on Avril, 7, 2014 with a program open to contemporary art.

The real bet carried on by an inaugural exhibition called “Van Gogh live!” (opened until the end of August 2014): join works of artist inspired by the great Vincent. An original artistic meeting organized in a very representative land where Van Gogh was particularly operative between the 20 February 1888 and 8 Mai 1889 (200 pictures, 100 drawing and watercolors and more of 200 letters). With these rich materials Sjraar van Heugten realized a singular appointment in the grand salle of first level where, according to one specifics chromatic evolution “Couleurs of Nord, Couleurs of Sud”, the Van Gog’s canvas are been placed side by side with master-pieces of number of artists that marked the poetic of Vincent, like Courbet, Pissarro, Monet and Monticelli.

Van Gogh Live affiche, Courtesy FVGA

Van Gogh Live affiche, Courtesy FVGA

The visit go on with some works realized by present-day artists: from the hall occupied by Bertrand Lavier’s portal to the verrière multicolored with wonderful light effects of Raphael Hefti and to Thomas Hirschhorn’s work, which reflects the phenomenon-Van Gogh as a popular “icon” and his importance as artist and man. But also the neon statement of Bethan Huws “Artists interpret the world and then we interpret the artists” focuses on the power of the artistic interpretation and prolongs the echo of transfer through the glass and the movie “Zone”, that introduces a naturalistic landscape scanned by a reading of Apollinaire’s poems.
Then the visitors meet the excited lines of Guillaume Bruère, alias GIOM, in which lives the power and distinctiveness of color so dear to Van Gogh. The Elizabeth Peyton’s paintings lead us into the heart of the images, evoking an intimate atmosphere fraught with human silhouettes flowers and still life illustrations and we can finish with “Schraffur” sound installation of the percussionist Fritz Hauser that brings music in the staircase engraved with silver traits, further “sound paraphrase” of the work of Utagawa Hiroshige’s “The Ohashi Bridge and Atake in a sudden downpour” interpreted by Van Gogh.
Even the color of the walls on which the paintings are lying derive from a specific choice, entrusted to the sensitivity of the refined English colorist Gary Hume who builds a real artistic dialogue with the person to whom the museum is dedicated.

Van Gogh, La Maison Jaune, CourtesyF VGA

Van Gogh, La Maison Jaune, Courtesy FVGA

Also the history of Foundation is very interesting. Officially established by ministerial decree on 8 July 2010 and recognized as a public utility, it’s origins can be traced back to 1983, year Yolande Clergue created the Association for creation of Van Gogh Foundation, in order to “encourage and promote the cultural and artistic activity related to the work of Vincent van Gogh, his stay in Arles and his intention was to establish in this city an international center of creativity and artistic exchanges” and to develop the cultural potential of Arles and the surrounding region. Since Madame Clergue collected 1985 works of contemporary artists realized for the celebrations of the centenary of the arrival in the city of Van Gogh (1888-1988). Among the first artists who joined the cause there was Francis Bacon that responded with a work inspired by a famous portrait of the artist on the road to Tarascon, a Van Gogh destroyed in 1945. Then he was following in three years by more than 90 professionals in the world of art giving new impetus to an initiative that has been consolidated over time and that is now housed at the historical setting de l’hôtel de Léautaud Donines, restored and adapted with the support of Luc Hoffmann, director emeritus. The Van Gogh Foundation is an ambitious art project entrusted in 2013 to the leadership of the famous art critic Bice Curiger.

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