Here was the significant question for retired RIT professor Roy Berns, as he visited the “Beyond Van Gogh” show final summer: Would this show — housed in a huge, circus-like tent in a Buffalo shopping mall parking great deal — be a tiny corny? A carnival trip via the operate of 1 of the major artists of the 19th century?
“I was pondering if I would be type of jaded about it,” Bern suggests. “Like, ‘Oh, you really should see the real paintings, blah, blah, blah.’
“But no, I considered it was a great way to have people today working experience his art. And maybe with the entire world getting so online and animation driven, this would attract in men and women.”
In this article in Rochester, you can see a single of Van Gogh’s precise 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 different variety of Van Gogh expertise. Substantial partitions of projected colour, with some of the functions in his quickly recognizable model disassembled to demonstrate how Van Gogh made them.
There are also interesting, pc-created graphics, these types of as petals slipping from a flowering tree, that go outside of Van Gogh.
Bern, who lives in Pittsford, held a title at Rochester Institute of Technologies that would stress out any business enterprise card: the Richard S. Hunter Professor of Shade Science, Visual appeal, and Know-how. He acknowledges the lesser-recognised, extra-regular, early performs of Van Gogh that are offered in the exhibit. Nonetheless Bern also sees “Beyond Van Gogh” shedding new light-weight on the familiar.
“I realized ‘Starry Night’ would be form of a huge matter,” he suggests of Van Gogh’s best-acknowledged portray, “because it has so much motion in the portray.”
In truth, the piece is effective flawlessly in this placing. We see that motion, with massive whorls of thick brush strokes seemingly caught in the gravitational pull of the stars.
“Beyond Van Gogh” demonstrates the artist’s departure from the regular darkish palette of his fellow Dutch contemporaries.
“When he moved to Paris and commenced hanging out with some of the Impressionists, that’s in which he threw absent the use of black,” Bern states. “So he stopped employing black, and which is wherever his palette commenced to get so considerably more vivid.”
Bern agrees that not every single artist fits this format of exploding light and imagery. Norman Rockwell, no. But the paint-splash abstraction of Jackson Pollock, sure. And “Beyond Monet,” a related exploration of the French Impressionist, has currently opened in Toronto, and will be touring the United States this yr.
Some visitors to the Buffalo exhibit, Bern claims, went as a result of it like they were being taking in from a bag of potato chips. Other folks, he says, took their time, “really trying to soak it in.” Listening to the calming, New Age tunes, and making it possible for on their own to be drawn into Van Gogh’s entire world. Immersed in the immersive encounter.
“I retained likely to diverse elements of the house and just sitting on a person of individuals benches,” Bern says. “And just encountering it.”
“Beyond Van Gogh” runs by means of March 20 at the Dome Arena. For information and tickets, go to vangoghrochester.com.
Jeff Spevak is WXXI’s Arts & Everyday living editor and reporter. He can be achieved at [email protected].