Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE) the circus and the cabaret, where he became a forerunner in the portrait of lesbianism.
The exhibition «Toulouse-Lautrec. Mujer y belle époque” has been organized by the Fundación CajaCanarias in its cultural space in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where it can be visited until July 15 with four sections of the painter’s graphic work: urban, circus, nightlife and illustration.
It is a tour curated by Rosa María Perales, professor of Art History at the University of Extremadura, who has defined Toulouse-Lautrec as “the painter of modernity” because “he touches on the daily themes of human beings, from the coffee until the dance» in scenes that contemporaneity continues to recognize.
Rosa María Perales recalled that the painter was born in 1864 into an aristocratic family and was called to be the Count of Toulouse-Lautrec, which prevented the bone disease that conditioned his life, and that led him to become “the chronicler of the nightlife of Paris and break all barriers.
To do this, he confronted his social class without actually breaking with it, so that his “observant” art portrays the bourgeois who go to the opera and then go to the cabarets of Montmartre.
From 1884 these cabarets are his home and in fact, for part of his life he lived in a brothel, explained Perales, to underline that compared to the cliché of his dissipated life, Toulouse-Lautrec was an enormous worker since, in his short life (died in 1901) made more than 5,000 drawings and almost 400 illustrations.
In the exhibition organized by the CajaCanarias Foundation, the artist’s link to the world of the marginalized, criminals, prostitutes and how they intermingle with the bourgeoisie is perceived, all portrayed with melancholy and without judging.
In the case of women, he delves into the privacy of their room and even the bathroom, and he was the first recognized painter to publish a series of drawings dedicated to lesbianism “which was not successful, since it was not erotic”, the magazine has pointed out. exhibition curator.
They are drawings with primary, basic colors, in which the line reveals the character of the characters, a quality that is also perceived in his series dedicated to the circus and his interest in horses and tightrope walkers and contortionists, that is, by those who had a perfect body so far from hers.
And then there is the Toulouse-Lautrec of posters, the great revolutionary of advertising by strictly applying the “simplicity-order-hierarchy” guide, and where he also showed his passion for Japanese prints, so in vogue at the time.
A striking aspect of the female and equestrian portraits that are shown in the capital of Tenerife is that they were made from memory by the painter when he was locked up in a mental hospital, shortly before his death.
Toulouse-Lautrec was “an unsurpassed chronicler of his time and of his contemporaries”, a psychological portrait of the characters of the nocturnal worlds in a life he knew from a huge sentimental failure, and he comes to illustrate such intimate moments “and cruel » as «Waiting for the doctor», the moment in which the prostitutes are waiting for a doctor’s examination.
The president of the CajaCanarias Foundation, Margarita Ramos, stressed that this year’s exhibition program begins with this exhibition, and recalled that the “Awakenings” program dedicated to schoolchildren who, at the end of their visit to the exhibition, will have a space in which the world of the circus portrayed by the Montmartre painter is recreated. EFE