Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

When I give, I give myself

20.05.2015 – 17.01.2016

© Angelos bvba - Pat Verbruggen

What do Vincent van Gogh’s ideas and insights mean to artists today? In the exhibition ‘When I Give, I Give Myself’, 23 contemporary artists respond to letters written by Van Gogh.

The works of 23 Dutch and international artists and writers provide a contemporary trail through the permanent collection, placing Vincent van Gogh in a different light.

Vincent van Gogh wrote over 800 letters, mainly to his brother Theo. In these letters, he movingly describes his ambitions and his doubts, as well as what inspired and amazed him in the world around him. The ideas about art and life which Van Gogh expressed in his letters are inextricably linked to his work.

What do Van Gogh’s ideas and insights mean to artists and for art as it is practised today? The artists each received a specially selected Van Gogh letter. They responded in a piece of art, a letter or a poem.

Their surprising answers are displayed in the Van Gogh Museum among the works of Van Gogh.

On this group exhibition Jan Fabre shows skulls who clenched their jaws around paintbrushes. The hairs of animals were used to make the painting equipement. Death grabs life in full metamorphosis. In this exhibition the skulls hang together with the work of Van Gogh. An artist who knew a tragic life, but became immensely famous after his death and thus began a new life.

guest curator: Henk Schut


artists: Eylem Aladogan, Maria Barnas, Michaël Borremans, Hafid Bouazza, Constant Dullaart, Jan Fabre, Alicia Framis, Ryan Gander, Arnon Grunberg, Christian Jankowski, Anish Kapoor, Job Koelewijn, Nicole Krauss, Yayoi Kusama, Gabriel Lester, Navid Nuur, Rory Pilgrim, Cheng Ran, Viviane Sassen, Pilvi Takala & Siri Baggerman, Simon van Til, Diego Tonus, Wouter Venema.




Monday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.



003120 570 52 00


Van Gogh Museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7
1071CX Amsterdam