Van Gogh. I colori della vita

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
10 October 2020 - 11 April 2021

exhibition curated by
Marco Goldin

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
10 October 2020 – 11 April 2021


The setting of the various exhibitions held by Linea d’ombra over the years has increasingly had the power to take those same settings to life - the lives of the painters that are presented to really highlight that ancient relationship between the course of the days and the placing of signs and colours. This is what makes the exhibition become a story and not only a display of knowledge. A story deeply anchored in the mystery of living, and in the mystery of looking, to really transform that living and that looking into the art work.

Over the last few years, I have visited the places where many of the Impressionist painters were born, lived, worked and eventually passed on. In various forms and in various ways. I have visited those places to breathe them in, to perceive their smells and perfumes. To listen to their voices and their silences. To walk within those places for some time, to stop and look. A slower time, a time to look for profound relations with those who have manifested the beauty of the world, the power of destiny and the adventure of a journey.

These places are a wonder. The beginning of this journey can be recognised in them; the reasons for going to one place rather than another can be found. The painters’ places help us to get to know them better, and this is why I started travelling with them. Year after year, season after season. Imagining the wheat fields at the time of the January frosts and then going back in July, in the midst of the gold among the wind-stirred crops. Among the olive trees and on the seashore, sitting on the sand facing the Mediterranean. On the rocks, or in the middle of fields of peas facing the plunge towards the ocean from above. Or sitting at the foot of a hill, between the sparse paths of a coal mine. I travelled with them, without seeing them but yet every day looking at them in the eyes.

We shot for hours and hours in these places. I am now talking about the places of Van Gogh.

We shot between 2017 and 2019, in different seasons, in the many places where he lived. We ourselves were moved in those moments, experienced between Belgium and Holland, between Borinage, Brabante and Drenthe. Then from Paris to Provence, from Arles to Saint-Rémy. Finally, Auvers-sur-Oise. His last days. We first used these pictures to make a film; then, a theatre show. It is now time to display them in the exhibition Van Gogh. I colori della vita, in Padua, from the 10th of October 2020. This will be the story of the work and life of a genius, but also of the connections with other artists who were important for him.

And it will be the story of the relationship with his places in the world, scattered under the sky of his life. Big walls of more than five metres each, located in the three largest rooms of the exhibition at the Centro San Gaetano, will become screens onto which we will project docu-films lasting fifteen minutes each, produced together with Fabio Massimo Iaquone and Luca Attilii. Fascinating, stirring images, because one knows that right in the middle of those fields, on those roads, before that sea, in those churches, walked the painter Vincent van Gogh. This is how we remember him, as if holding a blessed, holy picture. There will be three short documentaries, made of those pictures, accompanied by a few words and evocative music, a music able to accompany the mystery, composed by Remo Anzovino.

Three chapters: the first on the years from 1880 to 1885, from the mines of Marcasse in Belgium to Nuenen; the second on the almost fifteen months spent in Arles; and the third on the time, of the same duration, spent first in Saint-Rémy and then in Auvers. The documentaries will be found in the rooms where the works that Van Gogh devoted to those places will be presented, alongside those big, natural screens. From the first, chipped and tremulous drawing in front of the coal mine in Borinage, through to the tree-lined avenues at sunset near Nuenen. Or the wheat fields painted on the Crau plain outside Arles along with the touching pictures we took right there, in the same month of June, but 131 years later. Then there are the Alpilles, in the paintings and in the filmed scenes. And finally the haystacks in Auvers, in the paintings and in the filmed images.
I dare say that it will be a delight to stroll around the paintings and colours of those places, under Van Gogh’s sky, from the 10th of October 2020.