Van Gogh. I colori della vita

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
10 October 2020 - 11 April 2021

Laura Villani
Vincent's things

How many things make up Vincent van Gogh’s world? How many objects populate it? In what direction do they go or where do they stay and remain suspended? I have often stopped to think of how this painter’s entire universe was scattered with innumerable objects and as soon as I got ready to number them it seemed to me an impossible list to make, as it covered not only the life of Van Gogh himself, but also the space it occupied. From the knife of the gardener kneeling in the garden of the Etten house to the clogs of the Nuenen peasants, from their rakes for the grain to the bonnets of the women of Brabante. Then the easels, the paint box, the chair on which Madame Ginoux posed in Arles, the ink bottle for the letters to Theo. How much life passed through those objects, how much agony of failed love and fate. How much hope of surviving, living. Reconsidering those objects that were the last lifeboat, the extreme act of breathing, moves us every time.

So in putting together this squad of painters I asked to interpret something of Van Gogh’s world, day by day, each in their own way, I thought it would be necessary for someone to also take care of his objects. I asked Laura Villani for a specific reason. I wanted those objects to be stripped of the weight of a story to tell and be placed in a world that no longer recalled them. Exactly like the world that Laura Villani evokes with her austere and at the same time sumptuous, elegant and ancestral painting.

There should not have been anything but silence around those objects, so that they could become only mystery, in the restitution of an almost monastic colour, from which every frill was eventually taken. Like opening up a big theatre curtain and behind it seeing something we would never have expected appear. Like a chair poised on a Dantesque mountain.

exhibition curated by
Marco Goldin

Padua, Centro San Gaetano
28 November 2020 – 15 January 2021