From October 9, 2019 to January 27, 2020, the "Toulouse-Lautrec - Resolutely Modern" exhibition presents at the Grand Palais, in Paris, more than 200 works by the artist, who took both a serious and funny look at the Paris night and its pleasures in the late 19th century. An abundant and electric retrospective for all fans of this era.
The last retrospective of Toulouse-Lautrec in France goes back to 1992. The "Toulouse-Lautrec - Resolutely Modern" exhibition in Paris is currently an event for connoisseurs of the artist and those who wish to discover the boldness, freedom and anticonformism of the person who, without taboos, took both a serious and funny look at the Paris of the 1890s.
Toulouse-Lautrec and the "Montmartre culture"
With this exhibition, the Grand Palais aims to present the artist as the interpreter of a freedom that needs to be better understood by the public instead of the reductive image that he has often been given.
Since the 1992 retrospective, exhibitions have sought to show the connection between Toulouse-Lautrec and the Montmartre culture, and to present the artist as both the accomplice and judge of Paris' shady pleasures. Such an approach is currently considered reductive, with the "Toulouse-Lautrec - Resolutely Modern" exhibition at the Grand Palais attempting to deconstruct it to show the extent of the scope of his work, as can be seen throughout the 200 works on display.
Dancers, brothels, cancan
Toulouse-Lautrec has never been an accuser of urban vices and the impure affluent classes. If he has marvelously represented the effervescence of the Parisian night and its pleasures, his ambition is even broader: the artist seeks to translate the reality of contemporary society in all its aspects, including the less demure.
Toulouse-Lautrec was fascinated by the world of dancers and inventions, not to mention brothels. In an unprecedented way, the artist has found the means to convey the hard sliver of perspective and the heat of a society that has indulged in all sorts of excesses, the electric energy of Parisian cancan in a wild movement, resulting in posters like Loïe Fuller's prints and La Goulue's boards.
Toulouse-Lautrec, pioneer of futurism
The "Toulouse-Lautrec - Resolutely Modern" exhibition also shows how this aristocrat from Languedoc, anxious to succeed, imposed his clear vision on the Paris of the 1890s, becoming a pioneering artist of avant-garde movements of the 20th century, like futurism.
This major event is co-produced by the Orsay and Orangerie Museums and the UNM* - Grand Palais with the exceptional support of the city of Albi and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. The exhibition was also conceived with the exceptional support of the National Library of France, owner of the entire lithographed work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
• Union of national monuments