Singular works by Jean-Luc Mylayne on display at the Van Gogh Museum

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Singular works by Jean-Luc Mylayne on display at the Van Gogh Museum
Vincent van Gogh, The Sower, 1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation).

AMSTERDAM.- A presentation of artworks by Jean-Luc Mylayne is on display at the Van Gogh Museum. Especially for the presentation Van Gogh Inspires: Jean-Luc Mylayne, the French artist has selected three singular photographic works, two of which have never before been on public display. These two works, N. 331 and N. 332, April - May 2005, are inspired by the art of Vincent van Gogh and are now being exhibited alongside his paintings, selected by Mylayne himself for this presentation.

The presentation coincides with the travelling retrospective of Mylayne’s work, The Autumn of Paradise, on display at Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography (from 10 September).

The Van Gogh Museum displays work by Jean-Luc Mylayne, including two singular pieces that have never before been on public display, on the third floor in the final gallery of the permanent collection from 11 September 2020 to 14 February 2021.

Jean-Luc Mylayne
For more than forty years and counting, Jean-Luc Mylayne (1946) has sought encounters with birds in their natural habitat, capturing their fleeting presence with his camera. These works are focused on the balance between nature, the artist and the animal. Together with his wife Mylène, Mylayne waits patiently for weeks or even months to select the correct framing and gain the bird’s trust. He only clicks the shutter once the light is perfect and the bird is in exactly the right place and position. The title of each work refers to the time it took to create the image. Using home-made camera lenses, Mylayne works as a ‘peintre-photographeur’ to determine the mise en scène and the focus of the image. The lens is his brush, and time his paint. The artist is also involved with each step of the analogue development and printing of his photographs. There is only one print of each work.

‘[…] we must therefore be as patient as an ox if we wish to labour in the artistic field’.
Vincent van Gogh to his artist friend Emile Bernard, 1888 [letter 628]

Jean-Luc Mylayne inspired by Van Gogh
With his love of nature, Van Gogh is a major source of inspiration for Jean-Luc Mylayne. Both artists strive to express the connection they feel with nature in their work. The use of light, the colours of the landscape and the details in the foreground all play a significant role. While Mylayne’s slow and unhurried approach contrasts with the energy and speed of Van Gogh’s brushstrokes, the work of both artists compels you to keep looking.

The series N. 331-332-333, which Mylayne made back in 2005, but has now developed and printed especially for the presentation at the Van Gogh Museum, bears a particularly striking resemblance to Van Gogh’s The Sower (1888). Each of the three works is framed the same way, only the time – and hence the light, the bird (male/female) and its position – changes. The branch that diagonally cuts through this image is immediately reminiscent of the tree trunk that cuts through Van Gogh’s painting. N. 333 is on display in The Autumn of Paradise in Huis Marseille, while N. 331 and N. 332 is being exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum.

Retrospective in Huis Marseille
This presentation is the first collaboration between the Van Gogh Museum and Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography in Amsterdam. The presentation Van Gogh Inspires: Jean-Luc Mylayne runs alongside the retrospective of Jean-Luc Mylayne’s work at Huis Marseille, where The Autumn of Paradise is on display from 10 September to 22 November 2020. This retrospective first went on display at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles (France) in 2018 and has been travelling around the world ever since.

Series of presentations of work by modern and contemporary artists
This presentation of work by Jean-Luc Mylayne is the latest instalment of Van Gogh Inspires, a series of presentations of modern and contemporary art held in the final gallery of the permanent collection at the Van Gogh Museum. In these presentations, the museum reveals how numerous generations of artists have been inspired by Van Gogh’s work. Since 2014, the series has featured works by Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Peter Doig, John Chamberlain and recently, Jason Brooks and the Amsterdam artist Steven Aalders. These modern and contemporary artists show how Van Gogh inspires them while, in turn, they influence how Van Gogh is seen both now and in the future.

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