Vincent van Gogh. Olive Grove, June 1889. Oil on canvas. 45.5 cm x 59.1 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting).
Minneapolis Institute of Art presents the exhibition “Van Gogh and the Olive Groves” from June 25, 2022 – September 18, 2022
The olive groves of Saint-Rémy deeply inspired Vincent van Gogh in his last year of life, and the paintings he made of them are among his most moving works. This exhibition unites MIA’s own Olive Trees with three more paintings from the series, along with two other Van Gogh landscapes and three works on paper. Highlighting recent scientific research led by the Van Gogh Museum, the exhibition sheds new light on the artist’s methods and materials, his passionate investigation of color and line, and his choice of the olive groves as an evocative subject.
Van Gogh created the olive grove paintings between June and December of 1889, during his stay at the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy. MIA recently lent its Olive Trees to a larger exhibition presenting the new research, hosted by the Van Gogh Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art. In turn, these museums offered to lend the five paintings for this exhibition at MIA, an intimate opportunity to explore Van Gogh’s extraordinary art and practice.
Upon arriving at the asylum of Saint-Rémy in May 1889, Vincent van Gogh was immediately captivated by the region’s abundant olive groves. That June through December, he produced a striking series of paintings that capture olive trees at different times of day and in different seasons. Van Gogh and the Olive Groves brings together this significant series for the very first time. It explores the intensely personal and spiritual meaning the motif held for the artist, while tracing his shifting motivations and stylistic approaches. Bold and experimental, the olive grove series reveals Van Gogh’s passionate investigation of the expressive powers of color and line, and his enduring belief in the consoling power of art.
This unprecedented exhibition contextualizes the olive grove series within the artist’s career and reveals exciting new discoveries on the artist’s techniques, materials, and palette through works drawn from public and private collections.