The immersive exhibition “Beyond Van Gogh” brings the works of a famous painter to life | Arts and theater

David Gobitz Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil

COUNCIL BLUFFS — “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” gives Council Bluffs patrons the opportunity to wander through three-dimensional projections of the Dutch master’s best-known works.

Imagined by Mathieu St-Arnaud, co-founder and Franco-Canadian creative director of the Normal Studio in Montreal, the exhibition opened Thursday at the Mid-America Center. It features more than 300 paintings by Vincent van Gogh – brought to life in vivid, swirling color through high-resolution digital projections – in a multimedia account of the painter’s life.

“There was this natural evolution with his work,” said Fanny Curtat, art historian and “Beyond Van Gogh” consultant. “(It) starts where he learns, himself, in the Netherlands, drawing inspiration from other artists, learning with other teachers, but it’s much, much darker tones.”

It was not until van Gogh’s arrival in Paris in the mid-1870s that his work flourished.

“You have the brightness, the discovery of something else, a new light,” Curtat said. “And then he arrives in the south of France, and then you have this explosion of colors and really this combination of movements at the end of his life in Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris.”

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The exhibition uses van Gogh’s dreams, thoughts and words, many of which come from letters he exchanged with his brother Theo, a Parisian art dealer who supported his brother throughout his life as an art dealer. adult. The projections on the walls and floor distort and refocus on the flowers, cafes and landscapes of his works.

Many people know van Gogh less for his paintings and more for when he cut off his left ear in a fit of anger and depression. Curtat, who is working on his doctorate. at the University of Quebec in Montreal, wants people to leave the exhibition with another impression of the artist.

“When you look at his lyrics, you don’t see that darkness, and that’s really how we focused it in this dialogue,” Curtat said. “We created this during the pandemic, and so to have an artist who was famous for having struggled in his life with issues of mental illness, but also poverty… to have someone who was in a cell of asylum and yet was able to paint ‘Starry Night,’ there was something that resonated very strongly about that.

Curtat emphasized that a deep knowledge and understanding of van Gogh’s work is not necessary to enjoy the exhibit and gain something meaningful from the experience.

“You don’t need to know much about Van Gogh to get in,” Curtat said. “That way, it will just be a great way to discover his work. It’s amazing for kids because they can run and follow the brush strokes, twirl with the petals.

“But, if you know a lot about Van Gogh, it’s just the fantasy of being inside the painting that you know and love. So there’s really no specific audience. It’s really , really for everyone.”

“Beyond Van Gogh” can be experienced at the Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, until August 14. Ticket prices for adults (16 and older) start at $39.99 and tickets for children ages 5-15 start at $23.99. Children 4 and under can enter for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


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