The Albertinas autumn exhibition offers a new perspective on Vincent van Gogh by focusing on the artist as both painter
and draughtsman. Fifty paintings and 100 major watercolours and drawings are on loan from over 60 lenders around the world.
They underscore the artistic unity between van Goghs expressive draughtsmanship and his radically new use of colour.
This exhibition was compiled in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and is the largest presentation of the
artists oeuvre since the jubilee exhibition in Amsterdam in 1990. Moreover, it is the first Van Gogh show in Austria
for more than half a century. Lenders such as:
Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), Kröller-Müller Museum (Otterlo), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Musée dOrsay (Paris),
National Gallery of Art (Washington), Guggenheim Museum (New York), Puschkin Museum (Moskau), Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles)
and private collections.
Although Van Gogh, who described the hardship of peasants and workers out of a feeling of sympathy, had originally wanted
to become a draughtsman and illustrator, he finally was to revolutionise the art of his century as an artist obsessed with
colour, freeing it from the principle of the imitation of reality, as well as from the academies dictates of idealness.
After he moved from the Netherlands to Paris in 1886, and even more so during his two last years in southern France, Van Goghs
palette brightened notably. The brownish hues of Salon painting suddenly gave way to the purity of glistening colours. This
new colouristic intensity resulted from the artists immediate perception of things - he was now working outdoors, in
the scorching sunlight of Provence, where he directly confronted himself with his motifs.
Nevertheless, Van Goghs original desire to be a draughtsman had an impact on the way he dealt with colour and applied
it to the canvas. By the time of his suicide in Auvers in 1890, a comprehensive and intensive drawn oeuvre had accumulated;
the drawings and watercolours influenced Van Goghs painting style profoundly, and it became a personal idiosyncrasy
of his that he drew with the brush he had previously dipped into the paint, or that he applied the expressive coloured lines
and dots to the canvas directly from the tube. The large, highly finished pen drawings and watercolours are equal in artistic
accomplishment to Van Goghs paintings in all respects.