Quarter Life Crisis

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Van Gogh

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As van Gogh drawing with a fieldI left Bremen today, I was a bit shocked yesterday to notice that I hadn't been to the acclaimed Van Gogh exhibition they are currently having at the Kunsthalle. So I quickly phoned Jean who I knew wanted to see it as well and him, his sister and me went to see the exhibition.

Asking €7 admission for students seemed a bit steep for the provincial Bremen, but what the heck, it was Van Gogh after all. We were upset though that we had to pay extra at the cloakroom. Also, there were by far too many people in the exhibition making it sometimes a bit hard to see everything properly. Especially those paintings which were explained by the audio guide were beleaguered by people, forcing us to push them a bit.

At the end they had an extra feature on the so-called Künstlerstreit that had emerged in Bremen and spread around 1910 when some more nationalist artists started complaining about German galleries and museums spending too much money on foreign, particularly modern French artists. This in turn caused a reaction by more progressive German artists defending this move and pointing out that in fact the overwhelming part of the money was still spent on German artists anyway.

Among the works shown in the exhibition I actually liked the drawings a lot and some paintings which where drawn in more straight short strokes rather than those curly ones I'd associate Van Gogh with. Also, it's always surprising to see just how bright the colours are in the real paintings.

Most of the works shown in the exhibition were on loan from other galleries or collections, mentioning the owner along with the title. Seeing all of them together looked a bit like a family gathering with members coming together from all over the world.

December 31, 2002, 4:24

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