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Van Gogh: Up Close – Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Opens at the National Gallery of Canada Until September 3, 2012

May 23, 2012

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OTTAWA, May 23, 2012 /CNW/ – Friday, May 25: This summer’s much
anticipated exhibition, Van Gogh: Up Close has arrived at the National Gallery of Canada. Until September 3,
visitors will be able to enjoy 47 paintings from public and private
collections around the world that explore the Dutch artist’s
fascination with and his representation of nature during his French
period (1886-1890).

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Philadelphia Museum
of Art, the exhibition is honoured by the patronage of Her Majesty The
Queen of the Netherlands and His Excellency the Right Honourable David
Johnston, Governor General of Canada.  It is supported by Sun Life
Financial, presenting sponsor, and the sponsor Shell Canada.

For the first time, Van Gogh: Up Close brings together a group of close-up views – still lifes and landscapes -
in which the artist experimented with bold visual angles, decorative
colour, daring cropping and flattened perspective. Van Gogh’s paintings
that hone in on a budding iris, a patch of grass or a ripened wheat
field are among the most groundbreaking and radical compositions in the
artist’s oeuvre. Often thought of as an intense and impassioned
painter, the works in this exhibition reveal a deliberate, purposeful
approach to his art making that defies common perception; they also
highlight Van Gogh’s grasp and knowledge of a wide range of visual
sources.

Alongside the works by Van Gogh, the show features three galleries with
Japanese prints, 19(th) century photographs and a selection of works on paper from Old Masters
to contemporary artists that contextualize the artist’s experiments on
canvas. In all, more than 100 works inspired by nature.

Van Gogh’s use of the close-up view had a very specific function in the
artist’s oeuvre. As with his ambitions in the genre of portraiture, for
example, he strove to create a body of work with which to wow his
contemporaries and make a lasting contribution to the art of his time.

“Van Gogh is on the shortest list of the world’s most famous artists.
Both he and his work have been studied by serious scholars from all
over the world for more than 120 years. Yet as with any great painter,
there is something new to discover about his work, and this is is
exactly what the curators behind this exhibition have done,” said NGC
director Marc Mayer. “Five years in the making, this exhibition will be
remembered for generations.”

“Van Gogh’s work had a profound influence over the art of the 20(th) century,” said Dean Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sun
Life Financial. “This exhibition gives us the privilege to experience
the legacy of a genius. Sun Life commends the National Gallery of
Canada for co-organizing Van Gogh: Up Close with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in doing so, enriching us all.”

About the curators
Independent scholar and guest curator Dr. Cornelia Homburg and Dr.
Anabelle Kienle Ponka, Associate Curator, European and American art
(1850-1980) at the National Gallery of Canada, are the curators of Van Gogh: Up Close.

The NGC thanks its exhibition sponsors and partners
The National Gallery of Canada would like to extend a special thank you
to the Presenting Sponsor of the exhibition, Sun Life Financial, and sponsor Shell Canada. The NGC also wants to acknowledge The Japan Foundation and Shiseido Canada who supported the presentation of the Japanese prints in this
exhibition; the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Embassy of Japan for their precious collaboration; as well as the Canada Travelling Exhibition Indemnification Program through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Public programs
To complement the exhibition, an outstanding range  of educational
programs covering its different aspects, as well as related special
events, will be presented, including a one-day symposium Saturday, May
26 featuring a group of international Van Gogh scholars, a series of
lectures, a play, concerts and films. Visitors will also be able to
rent a Bell audioguide ($6), and take part in guided tours for small
groups outside of peak periods. As well, after that, visitors can take
part in interpretation and hands-on activities in the Exhibition
Studio, including writing letters to Van Gogh, or even sharpening their
sense of observation by putting together the pieces of a large-scale
puzzle or creating digital works using Van Gogh’s colour combinations.
Finally, throughout July and August, from 11 am to 4 pm, families can
enjoy exhibition inspired interpretation and hands-on activities, and
impressionist and post-impressionist works from the permanent
collection, at the Artissimo kiosk.  For details, visit www.gallery.ca/vangogh.

Van Gogh. Up Close catalogue
The Van Gogh. Up Close companion catalogue reveals as never before the genius of Van Gogh’s
innovative use of close ups of nature.   Under editor Cornelia Homburg,
a Van Gogh scholar, a team of subject experts -  Anabelle Kienle Ponka
of the National Gallery of Canada, along with Joseph J. Rishel and
Jennifer A. Thompson of the Philadelphia Museum of Art – examines Van
Gogh’s radical approach to the close-up by placing it in the context of
both contemporary and historical references, including his use of
photography – hitherto unrecognized – and his fascination with the Old
Masters, as well as with Japanese art and culture.   The volume,
published by Yale University Press, in collaboration with the NGC, is
available in softcover (in English and French) for $39.95 and in
hardcover (English only) for $65 at the NGC Bookstore or online at www.shopngc.ca.

Admission (timed tickets) and NGC opening hours
Admission to Van Gogh: Up Close: adults $25, seniors $22, students (card required) $15, youths 12 to 19
years $10, families (2 adults and 3 youths) $50. Free admission for
Members of the Gallery and children under 12. Tickets include admission
to the permanent collection. Tickets are for a specific date and time,
based on availability. No exchange or refunds.  Service charges apply
to phone and online orders. All prices include tax.  Order by phone at
613-998-8888 or toll-free at 1-888-541-8888, and at www.shopngc.ca. Van Gogh: Up Close is open daily from 10 am until 6 pm (until 8 pm on Thursdays). Tickets
are issued up until 90 minutes before closing time. Collection
galleries close at 5 pm (8 pm on Thursdays).

Van Gogh’s paintings at the Museum of Civilization’s IMAX Theatre
The Museum of Civilization’s IMAX Theatre invites the public to dive
into the breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary colours of Vincent
Van Gogh’s most famous works, seen on a giant-screen, Van Gogh: Brush with Genius. Told through the eyes of Van Gogh and based on more than 900 personal
letters, the film transforms the work of the world’s most popular
artist into a completely new entertainment experience. A $2 rebate on
an adult admission for Van Gogh: Up Close is offered on presentation of Van Gogh: Brush with Genius film ticket to the Box Office at the National Gallery. Some conditions
apply. For film schedules, visit www.civilization.ca/imax or call 819-776-7010.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections
of historical and contemporary Canadian art, including the extensive
collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. The
Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from
the 14(th) to the 21(st) century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous
Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and
photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played
a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its
principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for
all Canadians. To do so, it maintains the largest touring art
exhibition programme in the world. For more information: www.gallery.ca

 

SOURCE National Gallery of Canada


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