Second expert meeting
A relatively large number of the works created during the time that the two artists spent in Martinique can be found in the Van Gogh Museum collection: two paintings and a drawing by Gauguin, and a painting and two drawings by Laval.
An expert meeting was organised during the exhibition Gauguin and Laval in Martinique (5 October 2018 - 13 January 2019), attended by some 40 leading Gauguin experts and historians from all around the world – all specialised in Gauguin, Laval or Martinican history. This expert meeting followed an earlier meeting of the Gauguin experts, which was held in October 2017 in preparation for the exhibition.
During lectures spread over two days, 13 experts presented various perspectives of the theme of Gauguin, Laval and Martinique, each drawing on their own professional field.
In addition to presentations discussing art historical and technical aspects of the works of Gauguin and Laval, there were lectures exploring the historical and cultural situation on Martinique during their stay on the island. The works were also discussed from feminist and postcolonial perspectives. With its wide selection of perspectives, the programme offered a varied and comprehensive range of opportunities to study and understand the diverse aspects of this period.
Objective and achieved results
The expert meeting had two objectives: to test the hypotheses from the earlier expert meeting, and to formulate the research questions that will underpin a future academic publication.
The exhibition united the works made by the artists in Martinique for the first time. Never before had it been possible to study the works together; doing so allowed us to confirm or debunk hypotheses made at the previous expert meeting. During the second expert meeting, research questions were formulated for a peer-reviewed academic publication on Gauguin and Laval’s Martinican period. The publication will complement the existing exhibition catalogue by offering greater substantive and academic depth.
The exhibition catalogue represents the starting point of the research to be conducted for the academic publication, helping both speakers and attendees to continue the current research.
The academic publication will appear in the Van Gogh Museum Studies series in 2021. Complementing the expert meeting, this publication will also offer in-depth insights into the short, yet hugely important and intriguing period of Gauguin and Laval in Martinique.