The Phillips Collection is open during the federal government shutdown—unlike many other area museums—and poised to debut its new “Van Gogh Repetitions” exhibit on Saturday, October 12.
The exhibit is the first showing of Vincent van Gogh’s work in DC in 15 years. And its “Repetitions” title is a nod to a term the post-impressionist painter used himself: it describes his process of “creating more than one version of a particular subject,” according to the museum. To do this, Van Gogh—known for colorful works that exhibit beauty and emotion—would sketch a person or landscape quickly from life. Then he’d repeat the subject in the studio on a new canvas, in some cases multiple times, to, according to the museum, “extract the essence of a motif.”
On view are 35 paintings and works on paper, along with examples of 13 repetitions. The entire exhibit was inspired by two paintings: The Road Menders (1889) acquired by The Phillips Collection in 1949, and a nearly identical work, The Large Plane Trees (1889), from The Cleveland Museum of Art. Both are on view in Washington for the first time together; their juxtaposition invites exhibit-goers to take a deeper look into Van Gogh’s creative process and his tendency to create works with similar themes and subjects.
See the exhibit through January 26 and check out the Collection’s related offerings, including “Seeing Double,” a fun Phillips After 5 event on November 7 that encourages attendees to hunt for the exhibit’s look-alikes (adult tickets $12; reservations encouraged on phillipscollection.org).“Van Gogh Repetitions” is organized by The Phillips Collection and The Cleveland Museum of Art. Adult exhibition tickets are $12 and available for purchase on phillipscollection.org. 1600 21st St. NW, 202-387-2151