Published: October 2, 2012
“Becoming Van Gogh,” an in-depth exploration of Vincent van Gogh’s unconventional path to becoming one of the world’s most recognizable artists, will be presented at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) October 21⁊anuary 20. DAM is the sole venue for this exhibit, which examines critical steps in the largely self-taught artist’s evolution through more than 70 of his paintings and drawings, along with works by artists to whom he responded.
Organized by the DAM and curated by Timothy J. Standring, Gates Foundation curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM, and Louis van Tilborgh, senior researcher of paintings at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, the exhibition brings together loans from more than 60 public and private collections throughout Europe and North America to tell the story of a number of key formative periods throughout the artist’s career.
By focusing on the various stages of van Gogh’s artistic development, the exhibition illustrates the artist’s initial foray into mastering draftsmanship, understanding the limitations and challenges of materials and techniques, learning to incorporate color theory and folding a myriad of influences, including the work of other artists, into his artistic vocabulary. No other exhibition has focused so intensely on van Gogh’s personal growth and progression as he developed his own personal style.
The show will take visitors on a journey through the artist’s stylistic development via his dramatic paintings and drawings. Divided into three main sections, the exhibition begins with a focus on how van Gogh imbued his early works with energy and verve as he strove to master drawing with graphite, ink and washes; how he began to understand color with watercolor paintings; and how he began to test his skill with oils on canvas. Van Gogh turned all of his creative energies towards mastering the tools that would enable him to render the visual world as he saw it by learning as much as he could about the formal elements of art, color theory, painting techniques, compositional methods and more.
The Denver Art Museum is on 13th Avenue between Broadway and Bannock Streets. For information, www.denverartmuseum.org or 720-865-5000.
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