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Thomas Houseago in Van Gogh and the Stars

1 June—8 September 2024
Group exhibition at Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, France

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The Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles is delighted to present Van Gogh’s famous “cosmic poem” Starry Night (Arles, Sept. 1888), one of the masterpieces in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay which will be on exceptional loan until the 25th of August 2024. The return of this painting — as part of the national event Impressionism’s 150th birthday initiated by the French Ministry of Culture and Musée d’Orsay — just a few metres from where it was made, provides an opportunity to produce an exhibition that sheds new light on both the sources the artist drew on to create it and its enormous influence.

Through a variety of scientific, historical, and poetic approaches, the work of past and present artists will shed new light on Van Gogh’s work, highlighting its legacy and unshakeable strength. Curated by Jean de Loisy and Bice Curiger, the exhibition Van Gogh and the Stars will highlight the erudite work and research carried out by Vincent van Gogh throughout his life, driven by his inner vision, his torments, his acute sense of observation, but also by his environment. The unique literary and scientific climate that developed in the second half of the nineteenth century will also be presented to the public, through an exhibition of the research that fascinated the public at the time, as well as the work of the great scientific illustrators such as Étienne Léopold Trouvelot and Lord Ross.

The influence of this nocturnal scene has been considerable, as shown in the work of subsequent artists such as Edvard Munch, Kasimir Malevitch, Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Frankenthaler and other major figures who are featured in the exhibition. A fascination with the night has persisted in contemporary art, where it has taken different forms. Works by Tony Cragg, Thomas Houseago, Alicja Kwade, Anselm Kiefer, Dove Allouche, Yves Klein, Lee Bontecou, and others will also be included in this journey to the stars undertaken thanks to the return of Starry Night to the banks of the river that inspired it…