REVIEWING THE “GAUGUIN AND LAVAL IN MARTINIQUE” EXHIBITION

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A post by Peter Jordens.

The art exhibition called “Gauguin and Laval in Martinique” recently came to a close at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. RepeatingIslands previously announced and reported on this exhibition through Gauguin & Laval in Martinique and The Artist’s Retreat: How the Beauty of Martinique Transformed Gauguin.

The exhibition, which included paintings, sketches, notes, letters and other artefacts of Paul Gauguin and Charles Laval, was the first to focus on the four-month period that these two post-impressionist French artists spent in Martinique in 1887. Moreover, it substantiated the significance of this period (it was in Martinique that Gauguin started to develop the new painting style for which he had been looking and for which he became famous), and also brought due recognition to the talent of the lesser-known Charles Laval.

The exhibition is not an endpoint but will be followed by additional research and expert meetings as well as a landmark scholarly publication that will unite the available expertise on the subject from various disciplinary perspectives. The volume is expected to be published in 2020.

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A 25-minute video tour of the exhibition can still be viewed on the Van Gogh Museum’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VanGoghMuseum/videos/exhibition-tour-gauguin-laval-in-martinique/1207322312767278.

Here are four reviews of the exhibition in English and five in Dutch:

Colonialism & Realism in Art (Gauguin & Laval in Martinique), Alexander Adams, https://alexanderadamsart.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/colonialism-realism-in-art-gauguin-laval-in-martinique

How Four Months in Martinique Helped Gauguin Make His Name, Laura Gascoigne, https://www.apollo-magazine.com/how-four-months-martinique-helped-gauguin-make-his-name

Illuminating Gauguin’s ‘Decisive Experience’ in Martinique, Nina Siegal, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/arts/gauguin-martinique-van-gogh-museum.html

Gauguin and Laval in Martinique: Building Paradise with Savagery, Paul Black, https://www.artlyst.com/features/gauguin-laval-martinique-building-paradise-savagery-paul-black

Expositie over Gauguin laat koloniale blik in de kunst zien [Exhibition on Gauguin Illustrates Colonial Gaze in Art], Sandra Smets, https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/12/10/expositie-over-gauguin-laat-koloniale-blik-in-de-kunst-zien-a3060105

Ondanks Gauguins opportunistische en koloniale inborst, blijven zijn Martinikaanse schilderijen ronduit prachtig [Despite Gauguin’s Opportunistic and Colonial Approach, His Martinican Paintings Remain Absolutely Beautiful], Rutger Pontzen, https://www.volkskrant.nl/cultuur-media/ondanks-gauguins-opportunistische-en-koloniale-inborst-blijven-zijn-martinikaanse-schilderijen-ronduit-prachtig-vier-sterren-~b827a099

Cruciaal oeuvre Gauguin en Laval voor het eerst in beeld [Crucial Works by Gauguin and Laval the Focus of Attention for the First Time], Susan Nortier, https://8weekly.nl/special/kunst-specials/cruciaal-oeuvre-gauguin-en-laval-voor-het-eerst-in-beeld

“Gauguin en Laval op Martinique” toont hoe de blik van de kunstenaars veranderde[“Gauguin and Laval in Martinique” Shows How the Perspective of the Artists Was Transformed], Joke de Wolf, https://www.trouw.nl/cultuur/-gauguin-en-laval-op-martinique-toont-hoe-de-blik-van-de-kunstenaars-veranderde~a96136fe

Gauguin en Laval op Martinique: Unieke werken bijeen in Van Gogh Museum [Gauguin and Laval in Martinique: Unique Works Gathered in Van Gogh Museum], Emiel Maigoda, https://kunst-hart.nl/2018/10/05/gauguin-en-laval-op-martinique-unieke-werken-bijeen-in-van-gogh-museum

The above photos show Gauguin’s famous painting ‘The Mango Trees, Martinique’ (Van Gogh Museum) and ‘Martinican Women’―a sketch in pencil, charcoal and pastel which he made in preparation of the painting (private collection, through the Van Gogh Museum).

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