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The shrieks of madwomen assault visitors entering the Musee d'Orsay's new exhibit on Vincent Van Gogh, an arresting look at the painter's work as seen through the eyes of the late avant-garde French theater director and playwright Antonin Artaud."The Man Driven to Suicide by Society" is a fitting title for a display of 55 Van Gogh works using Artaud's own commentary to see them in a new light.Like Van Gogh, however, he was tormented throughout his life by hallucinations and hospitalized in psychiatric asylums.With thick brushstrokes of blue and green underlining the piercing blue eyes and a wary, proud expression, Van Gogh challenges us to say whether it is him or society that is mad.Artaud defended Van Gogh in a 1947 book that blamed society for his death.Curator Isabelle Cahn said Artaud's text challenged the conventional ideas of Van Gogh's supposed madness.
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