Van Gogh

Phone1588-2618                                      Featured November 8, 2012 - March 24, 2013

Ambiance:  The layout felt very confined, at least compared to previous events at this museum. The rooms were dark with the paintings spotlighted and quite close together. Whole swaths of wall were filled with timelines and perhaps historical background, though I am unsure because it was all in Korean. Of note, you can avoid the crowd if you go before noon on the weekends.

Event: The exhibition boasted some sixty works on loan from Amsterdam, called Van Gogh in Paris. This is a great exhibition if you go in expecting a large selection of self-portraits, but you will be sorely disappointed if you are expecting the highlights of his work in Paris. It was interesting to see how Van Gogh saw himself through time, especially as the joie de vivre faded from his eyes as life wore on him. Again, if you expect highlights from his work in Paris, you will be disappointed as most of the other paintings were not that well known and mainly featured crustaceans, fields, a day on the Seine, and flowers in vases.

Some of my favorite pieces from this display were not the actual painting so much as the few photographs. There was a photo of Van Gogh and one of his brother. It seems that Vincent saw himself as his brother, I wonder if this was due to a lack of mirrors or the fact that was the most common face he saw or maybe all of these self-portraits weren't. Perhaps, he had his brother sit for him. Maybe this is just the way I see the two. Nonetheless, I had never seen a picture of Vincent and my curiosity was piqued. Additionally, someone took photos trying to mimic the paintings from his Paris Studio window to show what he saw vice what he painted. I thoroughly enjoyed these, although I think the photographer too dogmatically shot from his studio window, when it seemed the painting was done from a higher vantage, possible the roof. 

Finally, the few paintings I truly loved featured rich colors, strong textures, and beautiful brushstrokes. Van Gogh was really still growing into his masterpiece style during his time in Paris, as this is where he discovered impressionism. However, his sunflowers and starry night occurred in the years after Paris, and are not part of this exhibit.

Won:  15,000 for Adults, 6-10,000 for Children (depending on age)