Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Van Gogh and the Colors of Night Show

Our friends Glenn and Ryoko and their baby son Tris took us to the member's only preview of the Van Gogh show at MoMa.

My mother's favorite Van Gogh was the painting of a cafe in Arles at night, the spooky lemon yellow gas lighting under the awning, oddness of distance from viewer to patrons, table to chair, and between people; the starry sky over the cobbled road (with echoing patterns), all in an affordable poster that she framed in beach wood she had found herself. At the MoMa show I got to see the sketch for Café Terrace at Night, 1888. It is so fascinating to see the vigor of Van Goghs calligraphic strokes, they express the energy of natural and man made things. He indicates the direction of wind, of light, of animism of line. They didn't have the final painting in the show but I found a Wikipedia image of it. Also great to see what color adds, how it heightens the separate rectangular spaces of man and nature, inside and out, dark and light.

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