Monday, October 20, 2008

van gogh & the colors of the night

the sower, by van gogh (now on exhibit at moma)

I had the great pleasure over the weekend to visit MOMA in NYC and was lucky to snag a ticket to see the Van Gogh exhibit: Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night. I had seen some of the paintings (from the MOMA's permanent collection and at Musée D'Orsay in Paris) but never before had I seen so many Van Gogh works in one place. Walking through the exhibit felt like walking through one of his paintings--it seemed like all the walls were painted colors taken directly from Van Gogh's color palette.

What I found most remarkable was that all day I had been walking around the museum and had been confronted with sadness, loneliness and pain. So many pieces at MOMA are depressing! (Or maybe that's just me projecting???). BUT, I found Van Gogh's paintings quite the opposite. Here's a man who is known to have had serious psychological problems (he did cut off his own ear and all), and most of his paintings depict evening/night scenes, yet I found his paintings to be the most joyful in the entire museum: a celebration of life.

I highly recommend visiting MOMA's online exhibit (and of course the real one if you're in NYC)--the audio clips are great.

The painting shown above, "The Sower," is much (much!) brighter in real life. The setting sun is super bright lemon yellow and the green sky seems electrified. Loved it!

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