The announcement was made by Tony Ellwood, Director of NGV, and Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries, as they stood in the shadow of a blossoming 4.5-metre-tall floral recreation of Van Gogh’s artwork Vase with Cornflowers and Poppies. Assembled by Melbourne florist Flowers Vasette, the installation featured fresh and artificial flowers.
Curated by independent art historian and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Sjraar van Heugten, Van Gogh and the Seasons will feature over 40 paintings and 25 drawings lent by international museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo. Arranged as a journey through the four seasons, the exhibition will present devoted spaces emphasising Van Gogh’s seasonal observations. The exhibition will also depict settings which defined his turbulent life, including his birthplace in North Brabant, Arles where he happened upon his most productive creative streak, Saint-Rémy de Provence where he was voluntarily institutionalised, and Auvers-sur-Oise where he took his own life in 1890.
Tony Ellwood said: ‘Van Gogh was a true original. His love of the seasons was deeply profound and played an important role in his life and practice. This reverence for summer, autumn, winter and spring and the eternal cycles of nature is seen in the energy and dynamism of his distinct brushstrokes, which almost leap off the canvas with vitality. His inimitable style and extraordinary use of colour has cemented his place in art history as one of the greatest painters of all time. Van Gogh and the Seasons is a true coup for the National Gallery of Victoria, and an opportunity for our audience to see a group of more than 60 van Gogh works, most of which have never travelled to Australia.’
Following this year’s Winter Masterpieces exhibition, Degas: A New Vision, Van Gogh and the Seasons sees the work of yet another renowned European artist arrive in Melbourne. Opening in April, this exhibition will run until July.