Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh will be stealing the limelight in Amsterdam this autumn in the exhibition 'Munch : Van Gogh' at the Van Gogh Museum. Ten leading Amsterdam cultural institutions will be presenting a spectacular programme of events.
The Van Gogh Year 2015 is being celebrated throughout Europe. The exhibition Munch : Van Gogh promises to be a resounding highlight of the programme marking ‘125 Years of Inspiration’.
Multidisciplinary Cultural Programme
Inspired by Munch : Van Gogh, ten major Amsterdam cultural institutions will be hosting a special Cultural Programme exploring the legacy of the two artistic kindred spirits.
Film, performances, debates and music will all show how the influence of Munch and Van Gogh on contemporary art and culture has more than stood the test of time.
Discover the extraordinary world of Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh at the following events:
Munch & Van Gogh: An Ode to Obsession
When: 2 December 2015, 8 pm
Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh have more in common that just their art. Alongside being pioneering artists, they were both gifted wordsmiths. They ruminated elaborately on the role of art and the position of the artist. In their writings and letters, Van Gogh and Munch emphasised the necessity of a certain obsession for the arts.
How does this apply to today’s artists and authors? Is an element of obsession required to create art or literature? Or is this a hopelessly antiquated, romanticised notion?
Amsterdam’s De Balie organises an evening of debate, inviting artists to draw on their work to discuss the role of art, the position of the artist in society and the legacy of Munch and Van Gogh.
EYE on Art: Munch : Van Gogh
When: autumn and winter 2015/2016
As part of their EYE on Art series, a weekly programme uniting film and visual arts, the EYE film museum presents four evenings devoted to the similarities between Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch alongside the influence both artists had on contemporary film. Look out for a selection of Munch’s home movies and shorts by young artists created in response to The Scream.
EYE will also be screening the biographical films Van Gogh by Maurice Pialat and Edvard Munch by Peter Watkins.
In the Spirit of Edvard and Vincent
What: exhibition and lecture
When: 7 October 2015 - end 2016
Haarlem’s the Dolhuys presents a fascinating historical overview of how the Netherlands dealt with ‘madness’ through the centuries. Opening on 6 October 2015, the exhibition Engineered Entities introduces visitors to extraordinary minds including those of Van Gogh and Munch. In an audiovisual presentation based on quotes from both artists’ letters and images of their work, Munch and Van Gogh explore the links between their afflictions and their artistry. Van Gogh was admitted to a psychiatric institution for a period of time. Munch didn’t consider himself to be suffering from mental illness, but instead viewed his fear as the foundation for his art.
The Dolhuys will also be organising a side programme of events examining the link between madness and brilliance. For example, philosopher and expert in the field Wouter Kusters will hold a lecture on subjects including madness as a source of inspiration.
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Elegiac Songs, Pierrot Lunaire and Scandinavian Temperament
When: Elegiac Songs 3 & 6 October 2015, Pierrot Lunaire 24 & 27 October 2015, Scandinavian Temperament 11 January 2016
It’s not only Vincent van Gogh’s art that is held in high regard, his enthralling letters are world literature. Conducted by Gordan Nikolić, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra pays tribute to the art of letter writing with their Elegiac Songs programme, featuring a performance of String Quartet nr. 2 'Intimate Letters' by Czech composer Janáček – a musical outpouring by the 64-year old composer about his intense feelings for a young student, recorded in more than 700 letters.
A contemporary of Munch and Van Gogh, Schoenberg is widely considered to be one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. With chief conductor Marc Albrecht taking the baton, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, a touching, melancholic suite about the moonstruck Pierrot, commissioned by Viennese actress Albertine Zehme.
Fun fact: in 1894 composer Carl Nielsen and painter Edvard Munch played a game of pool together in Berlin. What did they talk about? The work of the Norwegian contemporaries certainly had many similarities. Munch focused on portraying human emotions, fears and insecurities. Nielsen did that with music in his dynamic Symphony No. 2 in 1902, which he based on the four human temperaments.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
AAA Festival: Fear
What: music, art, film, theatre, debate and more
When: 13 to 15 January 2016
Performances by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra form the musical heart of the AAA Festival, complemented by a flurry of art, film, dance, theatre, poetry and debate. The theme of the AAA Festival in January is Fear.
Musing on The Scream, Munch noted: ‘I was overwrought – to the extreme – nature shrieked in my blood’. This painting is the inspiration for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s concert programme: Im grossen Schweigen by the late romantic Dutch composer Alphons Diepenbrock. British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and Anglo-Dutch composer Gerard Schurmann drew inspiration from Francis Bacon’s Screaming Popes, which were in turn influenced by Van Gogh’s piercing expressivity and Munch’s distorted psychological portraits. Van Gogh’s hypnotic The Starry Night was the inspiration for Timbres, espaces, mouvement by French composer Henri Dutilleux.
On 15 January 2016, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam will host the Confrontations with Fear event, part of the AAA Festival.
Knausgård & Munch
When: 17 January 2016
Where: Van Gogh Museum
Amazing artistic skill often goes hand-in-hand with a certain degree of idiosyncrasy. Does the modern day trend towards an engineered society – the preoccupation with making everybody homogeneous and healthy – come at the expense of humankind’s creative passion? Is society as we now know it still even capable of producing brilliant artists? And don’t we need the arts to help express the fears, the urges and the right to not be ‘normal’?
Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, acclaimed the world over for his uncompromising autobiographic novels, holds a lecture examining his personal connection with Munch’s work.
Munch : Van Gogh
When: 2015 - 2016
Theatre company Toneelgroep Amsterdam (TA) requires little introduction. Within just a few years, TA has built up an impressive international reputation with performances all over the world.
It will perhaps come as no surprise that they also received a healthy dose of inspiration from Munch : Van Gogh. They are currently working hard on a special programme based on the exhibition, check back here soon for the latest information!
De Appel arts centre
Midsummer Night Scream
What: performances and lectures
When: 26 September
De Appel arts centre presents Midsummer Night Scream, an evening with performances by Norwegian artists Trygve Luktvasslimo, Lars Brekke and Martin Skauen, and a lecture by Marianne Zamecznik.
Van Gogh Museum
We Are Guided by the Same Stars
What: installation by artist and musician Riochard Bolhuis
Where and when: auditorium until 17 January 2016
We Are Guided by the Same Stars is an installation by artist and musician and Richard Bolhuis. The installation consists of a sound installation, film loops and paintings. On view in the auditorium until 17 January 2016.
When: 25 September, 23 October, 13 November & 18 December 2015 & 8 January 2016
On several memorable Friday evenings, the Van Gogh Museum will be transformed into the epicentre of the Munch : Van Gogh cultural programme as the museum’s Friday Night series continues to offer an innovative platform for groundbreaking live programming.
On these nights, the participating cultural institutions will be joining forces to showcase a unique live programme illustrating how Munch and Van Gogh continue to influence the next generation of artists.
The Munch : Van Gogh exhibition opens on Friday, 25 September 2015 with a live programme at the Van Gogh Museum from 10 am to 10 pm.