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VeriArtem.comNewsMatthew Wong at Van Gogh’s house

Matthew Wong at Van Gogh’s house

From 1 March to 1 September 2024, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam presents “Matthew Wong l Vincent van Gogh. Painting as a Last Resort,” the first retrospective of work by Matthew Wong to be exhibited in Europe.

Source: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam · Image: Left: Vincent van Gogh, Wheatfield with a Reaper, 1889 · Right: Matthew Wong, Coming of Age Landscape, 2018, Private Collection, Courtesy of HomeArt. © Matthew Wong Foundation c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2023

The Chinese Canadian artist Matthew Wong (1984-2019) produced radiant, colourful and expressive works. Vincent van Gogh was one of Wong’s most significant sources of inspiration, and the exhibition showcases the artistic connection between the two artists. But their life stories also reveal parallels: Wong and Van Gogh both worked hard to find their calling, which ultimately proved to be painting, and they struggled with their mental health, resulting in tragic, untimely deaths. Although there are many similarities, each created a body of highly individual work that is highly personal and emotionally charged. The exhibition consists of a range of works by Wong interspersed with relevant paintings by Van Gogh.

The style of the Chinese-Canadian artist Matthew Wong (1984-2019) can best be described as dynamic, colourful and expressive. His lush landscapes exude melancholy. After studying photography, Wong quickly taught himself to paint and was inspired by both European-American and Chinese painting and drawing. Owing to his rapid development, Wong changed painting styles with striking frequency. During short periods, he looked to the works of various artists, including Klimt and Matisse.

It was, however, Vincent van Gogh who played a major role throughout Wong’s entire eight-year career as an artist. In a 2018 interview, Wong named Van Gogh as one of his most important sources of inspiration. Van Gogh’s influence is unmistakable, in terms of use of colour, the thickly applied brushwork and the personal themes in Wong’s work.

Loneliness, isolation and melancholy marked Wong’s life, and are subjects that were channelled through his work. The artist Jonas Wood, another significant example for Wong and a close friend of the artist, even called Wong ‘the modern day Van Gogh’.

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