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Is Toulouse-Lautrec past his best?

By johnboy - 27 August 2012 8

tolouse latrec poster

There’s rather a lot riding on the Toulouse-Lautrec blockbuster at the National Gallery this summer.

Large sums of taxpayer money, the kickoff for the Centenary, and of course a failed blockbuster would have serious implications for the Gallery’s bottom line.

On one level it seems like a no brainer. Pretty much every intense young woman for the last forty years has hung a Latrec on their bedroom wall to show they are SENSITIVE and ARTISTIC. Just in case you missed the copy of The Bell Jar prominently displayed on the book case or (in extreme cases) the box cutter on their desk.

If the highly strung women are coming out in droves then those of us who enjoy their company will be sure to follow.

But on another level it’s going to take some doing to put on a show significantly better than the average framing shop for a poster artist who’s work has been mass produced for well over a century.

Which brings me to my concern from the photograph above, taken in Turner over the weekend.

About five years ago the recycling shops at the tips (IIRC it was Revolve back then) filled up quite remarkably with canvas prints of Allanis Morissette as the same sort of intense young woman gradually realised that rain on their wedding day is not, in point of fact, ironic.

Is this just a one off? A statistical blip that can be ignored? Or is it the start of something as the SENSITIVE and ARTISTIC women move on after all this time?

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Is Toulouse-Lautrec past his best?
patrick_keogh 9:46 pm 27 Aug 12

DrKoresh said :

The way I see it, what have we got Toulouse?

You’re right. La trek to the gallery is not much.

moneypenny2612 7:51 pm 27 Aug 12

The original posters generally look nothing like the $20 reproductions you get in picture shops or IKEA.

Repros are often cropped and/or stretched to fit a standard size of paper. The colours are approximate at best, widely inaccurate at worst. Plus the poster production techniques of late 19C posters are completely different from the 20C reproduction industry. This will be apparent when the you see the originals in person.

Also, Toulouse Lautrec’s posters (he made only 30), drawings and paintings can help to tell a rip-roaring history about urban modernisation and cultural change in Paris. Hopefully the exhibition will examine this; there’s more to it than prostitutes and the can-can.

justin heywood 6:59 pm 27 Aug 12

From reading this thread, it appears that the women will be there largely to show they are ‘sensitive and artistic’ and the men are there because the women are there..

Maybe they could have a ‘Matisse Night’ at Mooseheads and cut some corners off the whole charade.

DrKoresh 5:24 pm 27 Aug 12

The way I see it, what have we got Toulouse?

dungfungus 4:00 pm 27 Aug 12

Madam Cholet said :

dtc said :

People will come just for the name – they have come to the last few blockbusters which have had remarkably few actually good paintings.

+1

The opportunity to see one good painting amongst 40 or 50 that you don’t know is very alluring and makes us feel terribly cultured. If you don’t take it too seriously it’s a nice thing to do – if you can stand all of those types who hang around in front of the pictures with their headphones on discussing whether that particular smudge of paint means that the artist was referencing his obsession with his own mother or something like that anyway….

Anyway, I think the gallery has got it right with the ticketing and other events around these blockbusters that mean you don’t have to queue for hours on end to get a brief glimpse. And you can rest assured that your local nationally recognised cultural institution is holding its own and perhaps making the town some money on the side.

You don’t have to go either.

Expect the usual accolades from the NGA, Canberra Business Council, Andrew Barr (if he is still in the ruling party next year) about what a grand success it was. You can hope it will be also because Barr has thrown half a million dollars of ratepayers money at it.

Madam Cholet 3:03 pm 27 Aug 12

dtc said :

People will come just for the name – they have come to the last few blockbusters which have had remarkably few actually good paintings.

+1

The opportunity to see one good painting amongst 40 or 50 that you don’t know is very alluring and makes us feel terribly cultured. If you don’t take it too seriously it’s a nice thing to do – if you can stand all of those types who hang around in front of the pictures with their headphones on discussing whether that particular smudge of paint means that the artist was referencing his obsession with his own mother or something like that anyway….

Anyway, I think the gallery has got it right with the ticketing and other events around these blockbusters that mean you don’t have to queue for hours on end to get a brief glimpse. And you can rest assured that your local nationally recognised cultural institution is holding its own and perhaps making the town some money on the side.

You don’t have to go either.

dtc 2:43 pm 27 Aug 12

I seem to recall having seen the Mona Lisa in print once or twice. Before I joined the 3000 people trying to see the real thing in Paris. People will come just for the name – they have come to the last few blockbusters which have had remarkably few actually good paintings.

That said, there is a difference between a poster and a painting; not sure of the difference between a poster and a poster.

poetix 1:52 pm 27 Aug 12

Wouldn’t know. I pump iron.

(And it’s Lautrec. You dropped a ‘u’ like a clanging dumbbell in the migraine of my life…)

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