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Des Moines Art Center exhibition looks at relationship between artist and subject in Vincent van Gogh
Andy Warhol, Self Portrait with Skull, 1978. Silkscreen ink on synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Overall: 16 x 13 inches. Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of Roy Halston Frowick , New York , 1986.34

DES MOINES, IA.- Des Moines Art Center opened an exhibition entitled Vincent van Gogh and the Psychology of Portraiture, which runs through February 5, 2012, in Blank One Gallery. This exhibition, drawn from the Art Center’s permanent collection, was inspired by the recent acquisition of Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet (L’Homme à la Pipe), 1890. The only etching van Gogh ever made, the work vividly portrays the doctor who treated and befriended him during the last months of his life. Etched with the artist’s signature swirling lines and emotional intensity, van Gogh presents Dr. Gachet in a similar somber manner to his painting of the same man, with what he described as the “heartbroken expression of our time,” and one that recalls many of the artist’s own self-portraits.

Following the spirit of this work, several psychologically-charged portraits have been chosen not only for their emotional intensity but for the way they reveal each artist’s expressive powers. Oscar Wilde said “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Spanning over a hundred years and various types of media, the works in this exhibition reveal much about artist, subject, and the creative dialogue between the two. In addition to van Gogh, other artists on view include Lucian Freud, Chuck Close, and Andy Warhol.

The exhibition is organized by Laura Burkhalter, associate curator.

Related Programs
*Gallery Talk - Thursday, November 3 / 6:30 pm. Blank One Gallery, Join Associate Curator Laura Burkhalter for a discussion of this exhibition.

*Lecture - “Becoming VAN GOGH”, Thursday, December 1 / 6:30 pm. Levitt Auditorium, Timothy Standring, Gates Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Denver Art Museum.

Dr. Timothy Standring is a world renowned scholar and connoisseur of old master paintings and has organized numerous blockbuster exhibitions for the Denver Art Museum including Inspiring Impressionism and Sargent and Italy. His next major show focuses on none other than Vincent van Gogh. Five years in the making, Becoming VAN GOGH will open at the Denver Art Museum in the fall of 2012. Dr. Standring’s lecture will cover the provocative narrative of van Gogh’s life with emphasis on the exciting evolution of the artist and the period in which van Gogh becomes VAN GOGH.

Des Moines Art Center | Vincent van Gogh |

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