Unseen Van Gogh

Romina Rems

Art installation inside the VGNP


The Unseen Van Gogh is an open-air art installation within the VGNP, showcasing participants’ interpretations of the missing Van Gogh paintings. VGNP is imagined to become the exhibition space for Van Gogh’s paintings that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, because they disappeared from public view. The exhibited works are representations of such disappeared works, made by the participants in the organized workshops. From the collected visual research the designer created a central work in the form of an oil painting that is meant to represent a missing Van Gogh painting.


The intention is to give Eindhoven a unique fine art attraction that connects the city to Van Gogh and places it on the art map. But beyond that, to focus attention on the private ownership of national and, in this case, world cultural heritage and the risks this system creates. Many works of Van Gogh only exist in textbooks and are nowhere to be seen in real life: this includes stolen paintings, as well as those hoarded by private collectors. As for stolen work, maybe this project will help, in however small a way, in their recovery.


A workshop takes place as part of the outdoor exhibition, which allows visitors to participate in the project and to continue interpreting the missing Van Gogh paintings. The final oil painting is hung outdoors in a wooden frame and stands in place of the missing Van Gogh’s artwork. It serves as inspiration to turn visitors into participants. 

The works of all participants are framed and displayed in the safe conditions of the indoor exhibition at Sectie C. These works are intended as a sneak preview and as signposts guiding people toward the oil painting exhibited in the unsafe conditions of the outdoor location. 


Research File