Van Gogh Museum awarded AICA Oorkonde 2011

29 September 2011

AICA Nederland (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art) has awarded the Van Gogh Museum the AICA Award 2011 for the exhibition Van Gogh’s letters. The artist speaks, which ran from 9 October 2009 until 3 January 2010. Van Gogh’s letters concluded 15 years’ worth of research into Van Gogh’s correspondence conducted by the Van Gogh Museum and the Huygens Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The exhibition was compiled by the editors Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker, and designed by Wim Crouwel.

The jury report states: “The art, letters and information were linked in a modern way. Paintings by Van Gogh’s contemporaries mentioned by the artist were displayed next to the actual letters. The same goes for the books that the artist read, the prints he used and the materials he painted with. The exhibition remained easy to navigate throughout thanks to the stunning layout, which encompassed four floors. Wim Crouwel, who also designed the print edition of the letters, created an atmospheric total experience with dark blue and liver coloured wall coverings alternating with minimalist, pure white display cases containing the letters and sketches.”

Book edition Van Gogh's lettersIn addition to all 902 preserved letters to and from Van Gogh, the six volume book version of the correspondence also features all 2,000 works of art that Vincent van Gogh mentioned in his letters. In addition, the www.vangoghletters.org web edition was launched, featuring all 902 letters in their original languages (Dutch and French), along with new English translations and facsimiles of every manuscript. The comprehensive “Yours Vincent” iPhone app was introduced exclusively for the occasion, and the Van Gogh blog was opened with posts by “Vincent.”

Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum, said in a response:
”The entire letters project team is thrilled about winning the prestigious AICA Award. This unique research project gave people the opportunity to experience the artist Vincent Van Gogh up close and personally through the exhibition. I am very proud of the recognition given to this unique exhibition and the team behind it.”

The AICA Award is awarded annually alternately to a Dutch institute, publication or exhibition (as was the case this year). Exhibitions held in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were eligible for this year’s award.
The 2011 shortlist jury comprised AICA members Ingrid Commandeur (art critic and researcher), Kees Keijer (art critic) and Robbert Roos (head curator Kunsthal KadE). The vote was held among the 150 members of AICA Nederland, who include art critics, museum curators and museum directors. The other two nominated exhibitions were Images of Erasmus (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen) and Play Van Abbe (Van Abbemuseum).
In 2010 the AICA Award was awarded to the AVRO broadcasting corporation.

The AICA Award 2011 will be officially presented in the Van Gogh Museum this autumn.

See also www.aicanederland.org.

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