Four years after it was approved by the state, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opened its doors to the public in the south of France today. The new Bice Curiger-led exhibition space is dedicated to the artist’s prolific period in the town of Arles and is housed in the Hôtel Léauteaud de Donines, a fifteenth-century mansion and UNESCO World Heritage site. The 3,500-square foot space was designed by FLUOR architects Guilaume Avenard and Hervé Scheider and was inspired by the “light of Arles,” according to a press release.
The new space aims not just to showcase Van Gogh’s work, but also to create dialogue between the post-impressionist master and contemporary artworks. The fondation’s inaugural exhibition “Van Gogh Live!” includes work by Thomas Hirschhorn, Elizabeth Peyton, Raphael Hefti, Gary Hume, Bertrand Lavier, Camille Henrot, Bethan Huws, Guillaume Bruère, and Fritz Hauser. Hirschhorn has created a special commission for the venue — “Indoor Van Gogh Altar” (pictured above). Lavier and Hefti were also commissioned to create permanent installations in the museum.
A second exhibition curated by Sjaar van Heugten, “Colours of the North, Colours of the South,” is devoted exclusively to Van Gogh’s paintings and looks at his use of color from early works made in the Netherlands to later pieces painted in the south of France.
— Ashton Cooper (ashton_cooper)
(Photo: Stefan Altenburger)