An artist’s work is a window into their unconscious, and one ouvre that has particularly captivated art enthusiasts and novices alike is that of Vincent van Gogh, the Postimpressionist painter of some of the most iconic works of art of the 19th century. This spring, coming to Houston is “Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art,” a broad-stroke view into the life of the artist as documented by his works. The museum’s curator of European art, David Bomford, is the one who’s bringing the Dutch painter to the region via this tour de force of a show.
“The important point about this exhibition is that it covers his entire career, from the dark, naive early works painted in the Netherlands through the Impressionistic works of the Paris period; the rich, brilliant paintings of Arles and Saint-Rémy in the South of France to the final flowering in Auvers-sur-Oise in the year before his death,” says Bomford of this comprehensive survey of the painter’s work. “Many Van Gogh exhibitions concentrate on key themes and moments of his life: We are providing an overview of his whole brief—less than a decade—but astonishing output.”
Bomford, who collaborated with both the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (each lent paintings to the exhibition, joined by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and several other international institutions), as well as private collectors. Set to both impress and astound, the exhibition is a reflection of Bomford’s curatorial eye in bringing in select pieces, including his personal favorites, In the Café: Agostina Segatori in Le Tambourin—“probably Vincent’s lover, but they had a dramatic falling-out,” he says—and View of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. After the work put into the show, he’s something of a Van Gogh expert, after all. “It is not often that one is immersed in a painter’s story and in the making of art in quite such an intense way as this.”