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Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape

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Between the years 1882 and 1890, Post-Impressionist artists—such as Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard, and Charles Angrand—flocked to villages on the fringes of Paris.

There, they experimented with broken brushstrokes and contrasting colors to create an innovative style of painting, one that could have been established only through their collaborative efforts.

Unlike the Impressionists who in the 1870s had spent significant time in tourist locations south of the city along the Seine, the Post-Impressionists preferred the northwestern suburbs around Asnières. This region had previously been a popular spot for recreation and relaxation but became increasingly populated with coal and gas facilities in the last decades of the 19th century. Rather than serving as obstacles to their explorations of sunlight, water, and the colors of nature, the visual vocabulary of these industrialized suburbs—the bridges, embankments, factories, parks, and villages—became vehicles for Van Gogh and his colleagues to experiment with color and paint application.

1962 578 Final Study For Bathers At Asnieres

Final Study for Bathers at Asnières, 1883

Georges Seurat. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc.

Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

This exhibition is curated by Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Eleanor Wood Prince Associate Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe, at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Bregje Gerritse, researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, with the assistance of Jena K. Carvana, curatorial associate in Painting and Sculpture of Europe at the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by the curators and other noted scholars.


Lead support for Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape is generously provided by


Major support is provided by the Shure Charitable Trust, the Jentes Family, and the Pepper Family Foundation.

Members of the Luminary Trust provide annual leadership support for the museum’s operations, including exhibition development, conservation and collection care, and educational programming. The Luminary Trust includes an anonymous donor, Karen Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris, Josef and Margot Lakonishok, Robert M. and Diane v.S. Levy, Ann and Samuel M. Mencoff, Sylvia Neil and Dan Fischel, Cari and Michael J. Sacks, and the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation.


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