Every final friday night the Van Gogh museum opens their doors, for this occasion I made together with VISH new work based on Van Gogh's paintings. It premiered during a live performance on the 25th of april. The work was shown in April and June 2016.
Longing for Friendship | The Artist Collective:
The Yellow House in Arles 1888–89
Vincent was delighted with the bright light and colours in Arles, and set to work enthusiastically, painting orchards in blossom and workers gathering the harvest. He also made a trip to the coast, where he painted the boats. His style became looser and more expressive. Vincent corresponded with Theo about his plan to set up a ‘Studio of the South’ in Arles for a group of artists whose work Theo could sell in Paris.
'You know I’ve always thought it ridiculous for painters to live alone &c. You always lose when you’re isolated.'
With this ‘artists’ colony’ in mind, Vincent rented four rooms in the ‘Yellow House’ on Place Lamartine. Paul Gauguin was the first – and, as it would turn out, the last – artist to move in with him. Gauguin arrived in late October 1888, but only after considerable cajoling. Theo had to stump up his travel expenses, for instance, but he was glad to do so for Vincent’s sake:
'So Gauguin’s coming; that will make a big change in your life. I hope that your efforts will succeed in making your house a place where artists will feel at home.'
Van Gogh and Gauguin worked hard together and their collaboration resulted in some exceptional paintings. At the same time, however, the two men had very different views on art, which led to frequent, heated discussions:
'Gauguin and I talk a lot about Delacroix, Rembrandt &c. The discussion is excessively electric. We sometimes emerge from it with tired minds, like an electric battery after it’s run down.'
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, May 1890
Van Gogh painted this still life in the psychiatric hospital at Saint-Rémy. He viewed Irises primarily as a colour study, and he painted the luxuriant bouquet twice. He set out in this version to achieve a powerful colour contrast, while in the other still life he pursued the opposite – a soft, pastel effect. The flowers are placed against a uniformly yellow background, making them stand out even more strongly. The irises were originally purple, but the red pigment has since faded, turning them blue.
Van Gogh applied the paint thickly, which meant they would take a month to dry. He was unable therefore to take them with him when he left Saint-Rémy two weeks later, and a member of the hospital staff agreed to send them on. Five weeks later, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo to tell him that the canvases had arrived: ‘the Irises have dried well’.