Kunstmuseum Bern
Hodlerstrasse 8-12
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Toulouse-Lautrec and Photography
dal 26/8/2015 al 2/1/2016

Segnalato da

Simon Oberholzer


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

calendario eventi  :: 


Toulouse-Lautrec and Photography

Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern

This exhibition is presenting the artist's paintings, drawings, lithographs, and posters against a background of historical photographs, which reveal the same or similar motifs, often serving as models for the artist.

comunicato stampa

This exhibition is pioneer in confronting the work of the internationally famous artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) with fin de siècle photography. It is presenting the artist’s paintings, drawings, lithographs, and posters against a background of historical photographs, which reveal the same or similar motifs, often serving as models for the artist. Ironically, none of the photographs were taken by the artist himself—Toulouse-Lautrec never owned a camera nor used one himself. Rather, if he needed photographs for his art he commissioned friends to do the camera work for him. He very often let these friends take pictures of him, frequently in the strangest attitudes and costumes.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s photographer friends
Only one of the three friends who took pictures for Toulouse-Lautrec was a professional photographer, namely Paul Sescau. The second of the trio, François Gauzi, wanted to become a painter like Toulouse-Lautrec, and they studied together at the studio of Fernand Cormon. The third was Maurice Guibert, a well-to-do young bon viveur. For a period Lautrec taught him how to paint, until Guibert decided to devote himself to photography, his true passion. In texts and images, the exhibition and catalogue will be introducing all three of these friends of the artist, making their importance for his work apparent.

Lautrec as a master of disguise
Lautrec loved to dress up, regardless of whether it was just for his own amusement or to visit one of those fancy dress balls that were so popular in fin de siècle Paris, where dressing up was very much in vogue. In the photographs he had made of himself in grotesque outfits, he sometimes appeared as a cross-eyed samurai soldier or a fanatical mosque crier, sometimes a pious altar boy or a garishly dolled-up female singer. Several photographs were made of him in the company of other artists or groups of friends in which he seems to have been staging strange performances of a kind.

Lautrec’s photographic eye
A further important aspect of this exhibition project is the hitherto largely ignored fact that Toulouse-Lautrec, like hardly another artist of his time, had a highly photographic eye. What he depicted and his style of representation would have been inconceivable without modern photography. His audacious designs with their brutally truncated figures and steep perspectives are evidence of this, as is also his impetuous, sketchy style. Like photography, in his drawing technique he strived to capture momentary impressions as spontaneously as possible. And who would have dared to paint the artificial world of Paris’s red-light district Montmartre, its seductive delights and the desolation lurking behind its bright facades, as truthfully and matter-of-factly—as photographically—as Toulouse-Lautrec?

Lautrec’s portrait of Misia Natanson
There is a specific reason why this exhibition is taking place in Bern. Namely, the Kunstmuseum Bern owns a captivating painting by this artist featuring a portrait of Misia Natanson, wife of the publisher of Revue blanche, sitting at a grand piano. The beautiful young woman was a much-admired figure in artistic circles in Paris, and it is therefore not surprising that she was likewise portrayed by other young contemporary artists, such as Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, or Félix Vallotton. For this reason we have dedicated a separate thematic section to this woman and her illustrious circle.

The show consists of more than 300 exhibits, of which a surprisingly large number belong to Swiss collections. We likewise were able to obtain loans from museums and private collectors in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Hungary, and the USA, as well as, first and foremost, the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive, richly illustrated catalogue containing scholarly essays. Hirmer Publishers, Munich, are producing the catalogue.

Press contact:
Simon Oberholzer Tel.: +41 31 3280903 simon.oberholzer@kunstmuseumbern.ch

Opening 27 august 2015, h 18,30

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Berne
Museum of Fine Arts Bern Hodlerstrasse 8–12 CH-3000 Bern 7
Tuesday 10h – 21h
Wednesday to Sunday 10h – 17h
Mondays closed
Admission fees
Combined Ticket CHF 22.00 /red.* CHF 18.00
Children (up to 16): free
Collection CHF 7.00 /red.* CHF 5.00
Children (up to 16): free
Exhibitions up to CHF 20.00 / red.* CHF 16.00
Children (up to 16): free

Ricco Wassmer 1915-1972
dal 25/11/2015 al 12/3/2016

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