Calgarians invited to step beyond the frame at immersive Van Gogh exhibit

·2 min read

Calgary's art world just got a lot more visual with a new Vincent van Gogh exhibition that promises guests a fully immersive experience into the paintings of the famous Dutch post-impressionist painter.

Beyond Van Gogh opened Friday at the BMO Centre featuring more than 300 of Vincent van Gogh's pieces.

Sebastien Grenier-Cartier, CEO of the Montreal-based Normal Studio, which is the team behind the project, told CBC News the exhibit gives guests a new appreciation for art.

"Our objective is to allow them to find an interesting point of view on art, especially van Gogh's artistic production, and maybe … [say] 'Hey, I should maybe go into art galleries and look into this,'" he said.

He says the immersive technology — with images projected on a large scale — also helps guests learn more about the famous artist's life and work.

"We really tried to create a dialogue between us as a creative studio and van Gogh's art," he said.

Grenier-Cartier says they collaborated with an art historian in order to give a fuller understanding of van Gogh's creative process.

"Really [it] enabled us to like take his classical point of view and then merge it with our contemporary vision of how we do visual arts."

The exhibit has travelled across Europe and North America in recent years, and Grenier-Cartier says it really "levelled" up the experience compared with others like it.

Calgarians can look forward to free roaming the education room, which details van Gogh's life, and then experiencing the three-dimensional lens in the waterfall room and exhibit.

"The exhibit is really about stepping beyond the frame and going into van Gogh's art so you're not looking at the picture but rather you're immersed into it," Grenier-Cartier said.

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