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Posts Tagged ‘pop culture’

This post comes to us from Sarah Churchill , Curatorial Intern.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

One of the perks of interning here at the New Britain Museum of American Art is access to the museum’s excellent programming, including last month’s symposium “Toulouse-Lautrec & His World Under the Microscope.”  Art historian Nancy Noble presented thought-provoking insights into the inhabitants of Lautrec’s world, while Rhea Higgins focused her attentions upon the many parallels between Lautrec and his contemporary Edgar Degas. Degas, aware of the so-called “parallels” famously said of Lautrec, “He wears my clothes but cuts them down to his size.” Ouch.

I was struck also by the comparison drawn by Noble between Lautrec and Andy Warhol. Both were printmakers and savvy, self-conscious marketers who worked tirelessly to elevate the genre of commercial art. Both suffered crippling disabilities and terrible isolation. This connection is probably the most poignant, for it was the experience of isolation that formed, not only the love of art in each of them, but also the sadness and longing that underscores their work. More fascinating still is their shared interest in the popular culture of their day. It would not at all seem strange to picture the two, side-by-side, holding court at Studio 54. Both Lautrec and Warhol blurred the line between life and art to the point that it can be tough to tell which is the reflection…

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Rene Magritte's "The False Mirror"

The False Mirror, 1928. René Magritte (1898-1967). Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 31 7/8 in. The Museum of Modern Art. 133.1936

Following the First World War, Surrealist artists, such as Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Yves Tanguy (1900-55) and René Magritte (1898-1967) employed in their imagery “meticulous detail, recognizable scenes and objects that are taken out of natural context, distorted and combined in fantastic ways as they might be in dreams.”1 Dreams have long fascinated human beings. Many a philosopher, physician and layperson have theorized their purposes and meanings, but perhaps none more so than the artist. One such contemporary artist working in the Surrealist tradition of dreams is Jon Rappleye, whose work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit NEW/NOW: Jon Rappleye: After Eden opening at the New Britain Museum of American Art on July 30th, 2010. (more…)

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