From the exhibition website
This exhibition, divided into 12 sections featuring 150 works composed of drawings and paintings from museums and private collections throughout the world, represents a true sensation for both the Italian and international exhibition circuit. Indeed, it is packed with masterpieces never before seen in Italy, and aims to narrate the human, poetical and artistic vicissitudes of two great nineteenth-century painters. And it intends to so in full, from the beginning to the end, and not just concentrating on the two months that the artists spent together in Arles in the autumn of 1888. Instead, it traces the whole story of both, in order to enable us to understand the verity of the subtitle of the exhibition itself: l’avventura del colore nuovo (the new colour adventure).
It is for this precise reason that the beginning of the exhibition is dedicated to the sublime drawing of Van Gogh, for that is where his origins lie, in the deep black of the women planting potatoes, the faces of the peasants and the landscapes of Nuenen. All of this is translated into the earthy, dense and impasto painting of the same Dutch years, until the emblematic sunset of his last landscape in the Netherlands, before his brief move to Antwerp and subsequent period in Paris. There is nothing that the exhibition neglects to recount, illustrating the story with numerous examples of portraits, still lifes and landscapes. They are divided up into sections that illustrate the various places in which Van Gogh lived: first his native Netherlands, then Paris, followed by the South of France with Arles and Saint-Rémy, and finally his last months in Auvers. However, the part dedicated to Van Gogh also features two absolutely fundamental chapters that are distinguished by some of the greatest masterpieces of the entire exhibition. The first is dedicated to the Roulin family in Arles, with the famous paintings of the postman and his wife, but also their children Armand and Camille. All of these works were painted whilst Gauguin was saying in the same Provençal city.
The second chapter illustrates his relationship with Millet, including the famous versions of the Sower.
The part of the exhibition dedicated to Gauguin is equally impressive, and has been reconstructed following the path of the great French painter. It starts when he worked in a bank and painting was still practically a Sunday pastime for him, especially under the wing of Pissaro. This was followed by his long and fascinating period in Brittany, interrupted by his trip to Martinique in 1887 and his turbulent stay with Van Gogh in Arles. Finally, it documents his long period in Tahiti from 1891, which was broken by his return to France in 1894, before the last two years of his life, from 1901 to 1903, when he died in Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands. It also examines his works on paper, in order to explain that troubled, anguished and tormented adventure in the realm of colour that would unlock the door to much of the painting of the twentieth century. This almost oracular aspect was common to both artists.
Gauguin Van Gogh: l’avventura del colore nuovo
a cura di M. Goldin
Saggi di Marco Goldin, Sjraar van Heugten, Sabine Schulze, Richard Shiff, Belinda Thomson, Richard Thomson, Chris Stolwijk, Cornelia Homburg, Wouter van der Veen, Fred Leeman, Valentina Anker, Isabelle Cahn, George T. M. Shackelford.
Schede delle opere a cura di Cornelia Homburg, Stephen Eisenman, Teio Meedendorp, Charles Stuckey