A few weeks ago, Barry and Mitt came to my town for an epic smack down. Today, Vincent Van Gogh arrived for an epic exhibition. Vinny (as we call him out West) is represented in an 80-piece exhibit that has to be the best collection of Van Goghs ever assembled in America. It’s at the Denver Art Museum until January 20, 2013. Interestingly, it’s not traveling anywhere else. So you either see it here or you don’t see it. Luckily for you, Suellen and I are taking reservations for our spare bedroom.
Van Gogh was to art what the Protestant Reformation was to religion. The Reformation said that you don’t have to ask someone else to read the Bible for you. You can read it yourself and form your own interpretation. Van Gogh said that a work of art doesn’t have to simply mirror reality. Art stands apart. It creates its own reality. You can create your own interpretation You can paint what you know, not just what you see.
It’s well known that Van Gogh broke the classic rules. He also broke the contemporary rules (impressionism, romanticism) and created something entirely new. In some ways, the mere fact of breaking the rules so thoroughly was more important than what he created. By breaking the rules, he liberated subsequent generations to go even farther. The art word is still reverberating. (I’m guessing, though, that the art world will re-adopt classic rules in the next few decades. When there are no rules, then adopting rules is radical and innovative).
So, how good is the show? It’s fabulous. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal wrote. Here’s what the Denver Post wrote. Here’s what the Yale Univeristy Press wrote. There’s a lot more press coming. Before the crowds descend, make your plans to visit Denver. Be sure to let us know when you’ll be here — the Hôtel du Chateau White may just be available.