Vincent van Gogh – Between Earth and Heaven: The Landscapes / Kunstmuseum Basel

It’s certainly one of this year’s highlights: the Vincent van Gogh exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland: Vincent van Gogh – Between Earth and Heaven: The Landscapes (zwischen Erde und Himmel: Die Landschaften). As you know, we usually focus on contemporary art. But as we did with the Holbein the Younger exhibition at the same location sometimes we have a look at the old school as well.

With Vincent van Gogh – Between Earth and Heaven: The Landscapes the Kunstmuseum Basel stages a spectacular, comprehensive exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s landscape paintings. The show comprises seventy paintings, both world-famous key works as well as paintings barely seen previously by the general public. In addition, forty masterpieces by contemporaries from Kunstmuseum Basel’s collection place Vincent van Gogh’s groundbreaking approach to nature in a broader context.

Vincent van Gogh – Between Earth and Heaven: The Landscapes at Kunstmuseum Basel runs until September 27, 2009.

Vincent van Gogh, Kunstmuseum Basel / Switzerland. Press Preview, April 23, 2009.

PS: To create space for the show, parts of the Kunstmuseum’s collection had to be removed. The Schaulager’s proposal was to host these work and to present them in an exhibition. It’s called Holbein to Tillmans. Prominent Guests from the Kunstmuseum Basel and runs until October 4, 2009.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Here’s an excerpt of the press release: By concentrating on the landscape paintings, we learn to understand and experience Vincent van Gogh in a completely new light. In his encounter with nature he found his way, step by step, to his own artistic language and, in doing so, to a radically new freedom in painting.
Thus we can see directly for ourselves how the earthy hues of the early Dutch works made way in Paris to a lighter and color-flushed style of painting. Then in the south of France, Van Gogh arrived at the intensely luminous coloring and vitalizing expression that, still today, make his paintings so fascinating.
During every phase of his brief productive life in Arles, as well as during his stay at the sanatorium of Saint-Rémy and finally in Auvers, he celebrated in his paintings the glory of creation. With themes such as the sower, flowering fruit trees, the wheat harvest or the reaper, he reaffirmed the eternal cycle of nature’s renewable forces.
While painting outdoors in natural surroundings, the restless Van Gogh found his own voice and achieved a harmony and equilibrium that was otherwise so often denied to this difficult solitary. The exhibition will present an impressive panorama of Van Gogh’s world: village or river views, garden or park scenery, farmland or land already under industrial use.

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