In this article was the huge question for retired RIT professor Roy Berns, as he frequented the “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibit past summer season: Would this exhibit — housed in a big, circus-like tent in a Buffalo shopping mall parking good deal — be a little corny? A carnival trip by the do the job of a person of the key artists of the 19th century?
“I was wondering if I would be kind of jaded about it,” Bern says. “Like, ‘Oh, you must see the serious paintings, blah, blah, blah.’
“But no, I assumed it was a wonderful way to have men and women experience his art. And probably with the globe becoming so world wide web and animation pushed, this would draw in folks.”
Here in Rochester, you can see one particular of Van Gogh’s genuine prints at the Memorial Art Gallery: an 1890 etching, “Portrait of Dr. Gachet.”
But when “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” opens Feb. 4 at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, it will be a distinct sort of Van Gogh practical experience. Large partitions of projected coloration, with some of the will work in his right away recognizable type disassembled to exhibit how Van Gogh produced them.
There are also exciting, laptop-generated graphics, this kind of as petals falling from a flowering tree, that go over and above Van Gogh.
Bern, who lives in Pittsford, held a title at Rochester Institute of Engineering that would tension out any business enterprise card: the Richard S. Hunter Professor of Shade Science, Visual appeal, and Technological innovation. He acknowledges the lesser-identified, a lot more-conventional, early performs of Van Gogh that are introduced in the exhibit. Nevertheless Bern also sees “Beyond Van Gogh” shedding new light on the familiar.
“I knew ‘Starry Night’ would be kind of a big matter,” he states of Van Gogh’s most effective-identified painting, “because it has so a great deal movement in the portray.”
Certainly, the piece is effective flawlessly in this environment. We see that movement, with big whorls of thick brush strokes seemingly caught in the gravitational pull of the stars.
“Beyond Van Gogh” demonstrates the artist’s departure from the common darkish palette of his fellow Dutch contemporaries.
“When he moved to Paris and commenced hanging out with some of the Impressionists, that’s wherever he threw absent the use of black,” Bern suggests. “So he stopped employing black, and that is where by his palette started to get so significantly additional lively.”
Bern agrees that not each artist fits this structure of exploding light-weight and imagery. Norman Rockwell, no. But the paint-splash abstraction of Jackson Pollock, indeed. And “Beyond Monet,” a very similar exploration of the French Impressionist, has presently opened in Toronto, and will be touring the United States this 12 months.
Some website visitors to the Buffalo show, Bern claims, went by way of it like they ended up eating from a bag of potato chips. Some others, he says, took their time, “really striving to soak it in.” Listening to the calming, New Age songs, and making it possible for on their own to be drawn into Van Gogh’s earth. Immersed in the immersive practical experience.
“I saved heading to various parts of the place and just sitting down on a single of people benches,” Bern says. “And just dealing with it.”
“Beyond Van Gogh” operates by means of March 20 at the Dome Arena. For data and tickets, go to vangoghrochester.com.
Jeff Spevak is WXXI’s Arts & Everyday living editor and reporter. He can be arrived at at [email protected]