Posted : 2012-11-07 19:16
Updated : 2012-11-07 19:16

Van Gogh exhibit opens today

Participants listen to an explanation about Vincent van Gogh's "Pere Tanguy" by Seo Soun-jou, commissioner of the "Van Gogh in Paris: A Dialogue with Modernism" exhibition at an opening reception at the Hangaram Design Museum of the Seoul Arts Center, Wednesday. From left in front row are Chang Jae-ku, chairman of the Hankook Ilbo; Ahn Cheol-soo, independent presidential candidate; Kang Chang-hee, National Assembly speaker; and Rep. Han Sun-kyo of the Saenuri Party who heads the Assembly Committee on Culture and Tourism. Hosted by the Hankook Ilbo, the exhibition displays 60 works of the painter featuring his Paris period from March 1886 to February 1888. / Korea Times photo by Choi Hung-soo

By Kwon Mee-yoo

Some 60 works from post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh's oeuvre, including nine acclaimed self-portraits, will be on exhibition at Hangaram Design Museum of Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul. The exhibit runs through March 24, 2013.

The gallery is rather dimly-lit to protect oil paintings. This exhibition provides a rare chance to appreciate the Dutch master's works. "This exhibit presents Van Gogh's paintings in a new concept with thorough research on his works," Seo Soun-jou, commissioner of the exhibit, said at the press preview Wednesday.

Hosted by Hankook Ilbo, the "Van Gogh in Paris: A Dialogue with Modernism" exhibition highlights the painters' Paris Period from March 1886 to February 1888. It is not such a long span of time, but Van Gogh established his style of dynamic brush strokes and gallant use of color during his stay in Paris. This is the second exhibit shedding light on Van Gogh's Paris Period since the "Van Gogh in Paris" exhibition held at Musee d'Orsay in 1988.

Van Gogh painted many self-portraits because he did not have money to hire models. He painted 36 self-portraits throughout his life and 27 of them were created when he was in Paris, studying the human figure and use of color.

Two small portraits are hung side by side and they look quite similar. Both of them were known as Van Gogh's self-portrait previously, but the difference in the color of mustache and the shape of ear indicates that one was modeled after his brother Teo.

"Pere Tanguy," a colorful portrait of a Parisian art supplier whom Van Gogh was a regular, attracts viewer's eyes. The painting traveled outside France for the first time from Musee Rodin in Paris to come to Seoul.

It is also interesting to see how art experts studied Van Gogh's works. The result of research on colors Van Gogh originally used some 120 years ago is on display to help visitors understand what the master's works looked like when he originally painted them. Some paintings have hidden paintings underneath or behind them and X-ray analysis revealed how Van Gogh studied perspective or reused canvas.

"Van Gogh in Paris: A Dialogue with Modernism" runs through March 24, 2013. Closed every last Monday of the month. Admission is 15,000 won for adults; 10,000 won for students and 8,000 won for children.

For more information, visit www. or call 1588-2618.

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