Film Screening: Toulouse-Latrec

New Britain Museum of American Art

Jan. 31, 2013, 01:00 am

56 Lexington Street

1 and 4 p.m. screenings
Toulouse-Lautrec: The Full Story (120 min.)
Additional Screening Wed@1, Mar. 20
The definitive two hour biography of Toulouse-Lautrec.

Sometimes comic, often tragic, this is a tale of aristocracy, obsession, and alcoholic and sexual excess. Yet during the course of his turbulent life, Toulouse-Lautrec succeeded in producing a huge body of work that was truly revolutionary in tone and impact, shattering the distinction between high and low art. He transformed the darkest depths of the human condition into artistic gold. Waldemar Januszczak, former art critic for The Guardian and two time winner of the Critic of the Year award, argues that the story of Lautrec is also the story of the birth of celebrity and mass media. Yet a century after his death, the artist has received none of the usual acclaim in line with his achievements. Toulouse-Lautrec’s crime was that he remained the consummate outsider—an outsider to his family when he was alive; to critics when he died; and by art historians ever since. All are guilty of taking him less seriously than he deserved.
Art is full of angry outsiders. Yet almost all of them are eventually welcomed and forgiven, but not Lautrec. Pioneer of the poster, apostle of the brothel, lover of the low. Lautrec is as under-estimated today as he ever was. Waldemar tells Toulouse-Lautrec’s story in all its fascinating detail, celebrating the vibrant life and career of one of the world’s most misunderstood geniuses.

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