The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are discussing the 2015 Art Outlook. Check out all the stories below!
If you’re like me, then you spend January contemplating where to go in the New Year. Do you plan several small trips close to home, or is this the year of the big, adventure getaway? While you think about that, let me try to tempt you with a few art pilgrimages options to see one of the greatest painters of Western Art – Vincent Van Gogh. In honor of the 125th anniversary of his death this year, several superb museums in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France will be hosting events and exhibits celebrating his unique and visionary art.
It wasn’t until I visited Greece a few years ago that I really got a good look at live olive trees. Despite being an agricultural powerhouse, the trunk of the olive tree is twisted and deeply etched. The foliage is expansive but not dense. In the shade, the bark and leaves appear to have grey-blue undertones. These are visually interesting, complex and very hardy looking trees. With a new found appreciation for these Mediterranean wonders, a huge light-bulb went off at the (abridged) Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The olive tree was possibly the best subject in the natural world for Vincent van Gogh and has resulted in some of my new favorite paintings in this catalog.
Vincent Van Gogh, Self Portrait (1889), Musee d"Orsay, Paris
60 minutes had a good story Sunday on a new biography of Vincent Van Gogh. Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, who won a Pulitzer Prize for their biography of Jackson Pollock, wrote Van Gogh: The Life which was released today (Oct 18). The authors appear to have written an authoritative 976 page biography enlisting the help of several assistants to pour over every scrap of letter or newspaper associated with Van Gogh.
I’m curious to read their analysis of Van Gogh’s potential medical diagnoses and his relationships with other, but the most surprising revelation of the book appears to be their theory that he was shot by someone else and did not commit suicide. The 25min news piece sets up the argument nicely with historical inconsistencies and some reflection on Van Gogh’s extreme loneliness and isolation.
Vincent Van Gogh’s art is visionary and his works are masterpieces. Aside from the potentially sensational murder or suicide story, I am looking forward to a well researched biography of the artist most easily discounted as just insane rather than purposefully creative by art history.