Vincent van Gogh is a pivotal figure in the art of the 20th century. His oeuvre continues to influence artists and exert an unprecedented magnetism upon the public right up to the present. It was in Arles that Van Gogh produced – within the space of just 15 months between February 1988 and May 1888 – his finest masterpieces.
Inaugurated in April 2014, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles pays due homage to the work of Van Gogh while at the same time exploring his impact upon art today. This relationship with contemporary art was enshrined within the principles of the Fondation right from its conception.
"My cartography: the Erling Kagge collection"
As of October 3rd 2020 the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles is presenting a very personal take on contemporary artistic production: that of modern-day adventurer Erling Kagge. Seen through his eyes, contemporary art assumes its role as a compass. Inspiring and accessible, Erling Kagge’s collection, commenced in 1999, communicates the vital information at stake in the world of the visual arts:
“A great work of art,” he says, “is like a thought machine that reflects the artist’s ideas, hopes, lovesickness, failures, and intuitions, among other experiences and emotions.”
Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer born in 1963 in Oslo. Famous for having successfully completed the Three Poles Challenge, reaching the South Pole, the North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest, he is also a lawyer, writer, publisher and collector. He has entrusted Bice Curiger, artistic director of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, with the task of curating an exhibition of his collection, the main strands of which reflect Kagge’s enduring sense of wonder and curiosity in the face of the world.
The Erling Kagge Collection today encompasses more than 800 works by artists of different nationalities and generations – all of them pieces that have helped Kagge, in his own words, “to grow”. The collection draws its coherence from its very diversity: there is nothing coincidental, therefore, in the fact that it contains objects playing upon visual perception, such as those by Olafur Eliasson, at the same time as critical works such as those by Klara Lidén, which evoke the notion of (topographical and conceptual) “underground”.
The exhibition My Cartography: The Erling Kagge Collection was previously shown at the Santander Art Gallery (Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid) and includes work by Diane Arbus, Tauba Auerbach, Trisha Donnelly, Raymond Pettibon, Wolfgang Tillmans and Franz West.
The reflection of an intimate passion, the Erling Kagge Collection reveals – like the works of Van Gogh – the importance of artists in their ability to appropriate and interrogate the world so as to keep us constantly on the alert.
Exhibition curator: Bice Curiger
Exhibition previously shown at the Santander Art Gallery (Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid), from 25.02 to 04.09.20.
More information: http://www.fondation-vincentvangogh-arles.org/en/
See right : © Olafur Eliasson, Striped Eye Lamp [Lampe-œil à rayures], 2005. Coloured glass filter, wire, 60 W lightbulb and tripod, 305 × 90 × 90 cm.