On the occasion of the international Van Gogh Year 2015 the Vincent van GoghHuis organizes the exhibition Regen in Schuine Strepen - Zandvliet \ \ Van Gogh. From March 29th until September 7th 2015 Robert Zanfvliet exhibits studies and paintings that were inspired by a number of works that Van Gogh created towards the end of his life in Auvers-sur-Oise: Korenveld met Kraaien, Boomwortels and Regen in Auvers.
Robert Zandvliet is one of the most leading Dutch contemporary artists. He continues in the tradition of painters like Vincent van Gogh and Willem de Kooning. He is one of the very few who has dared to take up the challenge of using works of his famous predecessors in order to create new, (contemporary) paintings. He did this with van Gogh’s latest canvases Bomwortels and Korenveld met Kraaien, among others.
For a long time van Gogh’s Korenveld met Kraaien was considered to have been his latest painting, made shortly before he shot himself in the chest. Lt depicts the wheat fields near Auvers-sur-Oise with flying crows. Zandvliet used this subject twice as starting point for a coupIe of large paintings. ln preparation he made quite a large number of preliminary sketches in pencil and pastel. These preliminary sketches are presented for the first time at the exhibition in the Vincent van Gogh Huis on the occasion of the Van Gogh Year 2015. It’s theme being ‘125 years of inspiration’.
There is another painting from Van Gogh's latest period which fascinates Zandvliet: Regen in Auvers. This is - just like Bomwortels and Korenveld met Kraaien - a painting with a panoramic view. Zandvliet has created an interpretation of this work in large dimensions (450 x 144 cm) especially for the exhibition in the Vincent van GoghHuis. The rain effect in particular turned out to be an artistic challenge. Initially Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese prints (Hiroshige) when he started to depict rain. Later on the 'rain slashes’ not only proved to be a technical challenge, but also an expression of his temperament and perhaps even a melancholy longing for his native country. In choosing exactly this painting Zandvliet stresses the fact that he is able to fathom Van Gogh’s work and soul.
Zandvliet's modern interpretations emphasize the significance of the central theme of this year ‘125years of inspiration'. Van Gogh still inspires contemporary artists 125 years after his death. Present-day artists still look at Van Gogh for inspiration and in doing so keep the memory of him alive. lt is of the greatest significance to view the work of those who are able to use Van Gogh's efforts in order to develop themselves further. In colour, gesture and expressiveness, Zandvliet succeeds wonderfully well. At first he studies the representations and techniques of his predecessor in depth, searching for the essence of his work. Next he searches vigorously for the most powerful way in which to express this essence in his own depictions and style. This way he is able to get to the core of van Gogh's art and to trans late it into new images that are even 'more extreme' than the originals.
The strength of Zandvliet's drawings and paintings does not only emerge from the extensive studies and preparations, but also in the poignant expression thereof. In this the master distinguishes himself from the seeker and doubter. Before he begins his definite work all doubts have been eliminated and he knows exactly where and how each brushstroke will appear on the canvas. He is extremely concentrated and works with great focus towards the ultimate goal. Il is the same concentration a football player shows us when he accurately kicks the ball in the back of the net, or the golf player who is able to hit a very convincing 'hole in one'. Van Gogh, the Japanese artists and Robert Zandvliet as well have this gift. The painting is made with strong brushstrokes and spontaneous swipes. Often in one single attempt, in which all energy and expressiveness is clenched together. Zandvliet is one of the most accurate artists of this moment and therefore he is able to move us so profoundly with his art.