Beneath the Brushstrokes

Art Institute of Chicago

Bringing classic canvases to life with digital enhancements that reveal the artist’s mindset

Between 1888 and 1889, Vincent Van Gogh made three paintings of his simple bedroom in Arles, France. The three came together for the first time in North America at the Art Institute of Chicago.

We worked with AIC to design an exhibit that illuminates the nuances of each painting and draws out the mindset and methodology underlying the art.

An atmospheric projection uses a recreation of the famous bedroom as a canvas—paint strokes and excerpts from Van Gogh’s writings scrawl across the furniture and walls, pulling visitors into his thought process. A touchscreen interactive lets users compare all three paintings in minute detail, providing an art conservator’s perspective on the differences between them.

Project Videos and Images

As users examine the works up-close on the touchscreen, their exploration is broadcast via projection to the rest of the room.