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On the renovated Foundation Van Gogh, Solaris Chronicles, and the LUMA Arles launch

On the renovated Foundation Van Gogh, Solaris Chronicles, and the LUMA Arles launch

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Published by Joseph Nechvatal
On the renovated Foundation Van Gogh, Solaris Chronicles, and the LUMA Arles launch
On the renovated Foundation Van Gogh, Solaris Chronicles, and the LUMA Arles launch

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Published by: Joseph Nechvatal on Apr 11, 2014
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On the renovated Foundation Van Gogh, Solaris Chronicles, and the LUMA Arles launch
Joseph NechvatalPublished at Hyperallergic as
 Arles Well That Ends Well 
 herehttp://hyperallergic.com/119759/arles-well-that-ends-well/It first looked to be cold, gray and rainy on the first April weekend in Arles, somewhat in stride with thegeneral dour spirit of the French these days. This grouch has been indicated by the regional electionsuccesses of the far right-wing National Front party. With stagnation unemployment in France at over 10%(around 12% in the European community) the mood under the current Parti socialiste administrate has beenovercast, malcontent and nationalist, of late. But with the first breath of April spring, a psychicinternational egg was hatching in the Camargue, cradled in the nest of art. So even as the mistral winds blew hard, they blew warm and from gauche à droite à gauche.The art program started on Thursday night with openings in private art galleries (I myself had a vernissageat Galerie Omnius) and then with the Friday opening of the newly vitalized Foundation Van Gogh,orchestrated by the Swiss zoologist, environmentalist and philanthropist Luc Hoffmann.. Dr. Hoffmann, at91, is a congenial and generous man with warm and bushy eyes who has been supporting Foundation VanGogh for decades while under the direction of its founder Yolande Clergue. (Yolande’s daughter, thecurator Anne Clergue, opened a new gallery in Arles the same weekend.) But now the foundation hasmoved to a new and very chic location fashioned by the architects Guillaume Avenard and HervéSchneider.After three years of work it opened its doors with the inaugural exhibition
Van Gogh live!
 curated by theKunsthaus Zürich-bassed Swiss art critic (and founder of the magazine
) Bice Curiger, who is nowthe director of the Foundation Van Gogh.I dug that Bice cheekily chose to highlight-center a tremendously cryptic Thomas Hirschhorn installationthat both celebrates and mocks Van Gogh’s popularity and non-exclusivity. For his new, large-scale piece“Indoor Van Gogh Altar” (2014), Hirschhorn imagined himself as a young Japanese woman of today whois obsessed by Van Gogh.
Thomas Hirschhorn, “Indoor Van Gogh Altar” (2014)I lingered in the sprawling silver installation for as long as I could, given the crowds, before passing swiftly by a room of Elizabeth Peyton’s portraits (I obviously don’t get Peyton’s appeal) and headed straight for the dozen works by Van Gogh on loan from other institutions; my favorite being “Autoportrait avec pipe etchapeau de paille” (1887) and “La Maison jaune (‘La rue’)” (1888) - both from the Van Gogh Museum inAmsterdam. These were set off alongside his influential contemporaries such as Camille Pissarro, GustaveCourbet and Claude Monet. This re-opening of the foundation topped off a new look at Vincent Van Goghtaking place in France with the show
Van Gogh / Artaud, The Man Suicided by Society
that continues at theMusée d’Orsay in Paris through July 6th.With Saturday came the hatching of an enormous project for Luc’s daughter, Maja Hoffmann: the openingof work on her 20-acre LUMA Arles campus, the aim of which is to create a contemporary art center for living labor. LUMA Arles will be providing artists with opportunities to experiment in the production and presentation of new work in collaboration with other artists, curators, scientists, innovators and audiences.The goal is to create a community to produce new work and ideas.
LUMA Arles encompasses six historic, large-scale industrial buildings, of which five are being renovated by Selldorf Architects for presentations, installations, exhibitions, artistsresidencies and studios. Onehistoric building, the Grande Halle, was renovated in 2007 by the initiative of the Provence-Alpes-Côted’Azur region.LUMA Arles construction site

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