At the Carrières de Lumières, the new high-performance technology introduced by Culturespaces provides visitors with an extraordinary audio visual journey, covering even the floor of the quarry with a vast carpet of images. Opening March 30, the premier show is “Gaugin, Van Gogh, Painters of Colour”, an extravaganza linking the careers of Paul Gaugin and Vincent Van Gogh to demonstrate their uniquely different ways of using color. Gaugin tended toward well-defined areas of flat color, while Van Gogh layered vibrant colors, providing a relief effect to his paintings.
“…Like dreaming with your eyes open.”
That was Gianfranco Iannuzzi’s response, when asked why visitors should come and see the show. The producer went on to say, “And to discover – or rediscover – the work of these two exceptional artists, through a total immersion in colour.”
Their artistic journeys shared similarities. Both began with landscape paintings in northern Europe, before returning to the light-filled landscape of the South of France. Gaugin later sought inspiration in the Pacific islands, while Van Gogh returned to northern France.
Seven sequences illuminate the colorful world of the two painters: Van Gogh, the Northern Prelude, focuses on the austere light and somber colors depicting ordinary people in harsh living conditions; while Gauguin in Pont-Aven, A New Theory of Picture, follows Gaugin’s work in Brittany. The unique culture and broad and vivid landscapes led Gaugin to develop a new minimalist theory of painting, with simplified forms and expanses of color that captured only essential details.
Gauguin & Van Gogh’s Correspondence links the painters through their correspondence. We see them come together, collaborate and separate. The Encounter at Arles brought the two painters together for the first time in the land of light and warm colors of southern France. Gauguin joined Van Gogh’s ‘Studio of the South’ outside of Arles, but it was a partnership marked by insurmountable differences, a mix of respect and disdain. Gaugin departed after just two months in Arles.
Gauguin in the Pacific Islands, Back to Eden, profiles Gaugin’s prolific work in Tahiti, where he produced a large number of paintings, sculptures and engravings in and around Papeete. Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy, Under the Southern Sun finds the painter in a blend of creative genius and madness. His work in Provence shimmers with powerful, dark skies and cypress and olive trees with strong lines, vivid color and thick texture. In 1889, he committed himself to the asylum in Saint-Rémy, where he continued to exercise his talent and imagination with brightly colored paintings and the unique angles featured in his famous “The Starry Night” and “Cypresses” series. The Auvers-sur-Oise Plain is the final chapter of Van Gogh’s artistry, where he crowned his body of work with another 77 paintings filled with emotional images, stormy skies and nature. The show is a lifelike journey through the lives of two masterful painters, an exposition made even more powerful through the extraordinary artistic production.
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Production of the show © G. Iannuzzi M. Siccardi