From the 1950s, former Director of the Van Abbemuseum and professor of visual arts and architecture Jean Leering (1934-2005), was fascinated by the work of the nineteenth-century French artist Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), who is known to have been a great innovator in modern painting. In order to make these paintings accessible to a broader general public, in addition to the experts and specialists in art history, Jean Leering developed a visual approach to Paul Cézanne’s work, in cooperation with the designer and former director of the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, The Netherlands, Jan van Toorn. This sort of approach is significantly different from the conceptualization that is usual in art history circles, which aims to capture the new and extraordinary aspect of Cézanne’s art in words and concepts. Leering made photographs that show a parallel view of the objects represented in the works by Cézanne, turning the focus toward looking and comparing, and bringing the viewer closer to the way of looking and painting of Cézanne. Following theme’s such as the still life, trees, the mountain Sainte Victoire and other landscape elements, a connection is made between the (natural) environment and the work of Cézanne.
Until shortly before his death in 2005, Leering worked intensively on a book on this subject, together with designer, friend and kindred spirit Jan van Toorn. Leerings wife Wies van Moorsel has now completed this special project together with Van Toorn. The exhibition in the library of the Van Abbemuseum includes a visual presentation of the book and examples of the museological collaboration between Leering and Van Toorn, especially in the period between 1964 and 1973, when Leering was director of the Van Abbemuseum.
Fotograferen met Cézanne. Landschappelijke elementen als motief
Jean Leering, Jan van Toorn, , 2009.
Published by Uitgeverij Thoth in Bussum, The Netherlands.
Available in the museum shop.
Price: € 27,50