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ear as labyrinth

August 31, 2009

[ARTnews] “People who have never set foot in an art gallery or an art museum, who don’t know much about artists, do know two names: Leonardo and van Gogh,” says Joachim Pissarro, great-grandson of Camille Pissarro and curator of the recent “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “One of the reasons that van Gogh is so prevalent is because of these layers and layers of accreted ideas about the craziness. These have created an image of van Gogh that is much bigger than and almost independent of his art. Most people who have read the books and seen the films don’t necessarily look at the work, and the work in that particular context is seen as a symptom of a disorder.

“There are a lot of things we just don’t know about van Gogh,” Pissarro adds, especially when it comes to the source of his mental condition. “Some people say it was epilepsy, some say it was bouts of alcoholism, and there are other theories. What I prefer to do is go through the letters and stay with what we have, which is in itself completely fascinating. Van Gogh was extremely learned, extremely erudite, and passionately well read. He wrote and read in four languages. He was interested in poetry and literary works, comparing novels to other great landmarks in the history of 19th-century art. That’s an aspect of van Gogh that nobody mentions, because it goes against the grain of our received ideas.” (read)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. severnyproductions permalink
    August 31, 2009 9:38 am

    well its obvious that he was a deeply troubled man, it shows in his art

  2. August 31, 2009 9:49 am

    i’m not so sure i agree with you on this severny. does it show in his art? facing the actual paintings (reproductions do not do him justice) i discovered that there is more joy, bliss and wisdom there than in any other art i have seen. and reading his letters reveals a wise, erudite and sensitive individual.

  3. Ike Oguinn permalink
    April 7, 2010 1:37 am

    This an Great post, I will be sure to save this in my Mixx account. Have a awesome day.

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