NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale announces new exhibition: Picturing Fame

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NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale announces new exhibition: Picturing Fame
Emilio Martinez, Untitled, 2021. Paper collage, acrylic, pencil, on history book pages. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; purchased with funds provided by Michael and Dianne Bienes by exchange.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.- NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is presenting Picturing Fame, comprised of four concurrent exhibitions which ruminate on the subject of fame and celebrity. Exhibitions include Toulouse-Lautrec and the Follies of Fame, with original drawings, etchings and posters by post-impressionist French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec; Emilio Martinez: Van Gogh, Lautrec and Me, the first solo museum show for Honduras-born, Miami-based artist Emilio Martinez; Hooray for Hollywood, which features a Frida Kahlo self-portrait and works by Andy Warhol, Catherine Opie, Enoc Perez, among others; and The Swans, comprised of imaginative vignettes that mix Karen Kilimnik’s romantic paintings featuring movie stars and fashion models with selections from Stephanie Seymour’s collection of vintage haute couture pieces.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Follies of Fame (February 11 – September 3, 2023)

The Follies of Fame explores how post-impressionist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters promoting the denizens of Paris’s demi-monde, not only contributed to the fame of the performers, but made the artist an overnight sensation. Toulouse-Lautrec’s flamboyant style and subjects' titillating poses are the forerunners of today’s celebrity-driven marketing ploys. Yet through ubiquitous reproductions in books, posters, postcards, movies, and more recently on the internet, these images have become so widely exposed that their artistry and originality may have been overshadowed. This exhibition of Toulouse-Lautrec’s original drawings, etchings, and posters will provide the public the opportunity to view and study his works in detail and how he continues to shape the current means for picturing fame.

Emilio Martinez: Van Gogh, Lautrec and Me (February 11 – September 3, 2023)

Van Gogh, Lautrec and Me is the inaugural solo museum exhibition of Honduras-born, Miami artist Emilio Martinez, whose fascination with Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec led to a cross-centuries collaboration, in which he contemplates the camaraderie between these two famed late-nineteenth-century artists in Paris as he paints over and collages reproductions of their work with his own fanciful embellishments. Martinez was inspired by Julian Schnabel’s riveting film Eternity’s Gate (2018) about van Gogh’s turbulent last years to embark on his series of mixed-media collages of macabre beasts that incorporate elements of reproductions of such van Gogh paintings as Starry Night and Sunflowers. For Martinez, these fanciful and frightening creatures convey the emotional weight and humanist “verve” of van Gogh’s visionary work. Martinez was prompted to create the Lautrec series of mixed media paintings and collages after discovering that the younger artist was a friend and admirer of Van Gogh. Each work in these two series suggests a narrative that reflects Martinez’s engagement with the struggles, dreams, and aspirations of Van Gogh and Lautrec.

Hooray for Hollywood (February 11 – September 3, 2023)

Hooray for Hollywood dives into the subject of fame, glamour, desire, voyeurism, obsession, and social currency with works primarily drawn from the museum’s collection – including a Frida Kahlo self-portrait, Warhol’s Mao print series of 1973 (created after LIFE magazine named Chairman Mao the most famous man in the world in 1972), Catherine Opie’s elegiac photographic series of Elizabeth Taylor’s intimate possessions and Enoc Perez’s painting series, which grounds itself in the voyeurism associated with celebrity and the ensuing bitterness that it may trigger. The exhibition’s title references a drawing by Jack Pierson that captures the irony of Johnny Mercer’s lyrics for the uptempo 1937 tune that lampoons Hollywood’s star-making machine. Pierson’s Hooray for Hollywood poetically captures the allure as well as the disillusionment of the Hollywood dream.

The Swans: Karen Kilimnik and Stephanie Seymour Paintings and Dresses (March 12 – September 3, 2023)

The Swans mixes mid-career artist Karen Kilimnik’s romantic paintings in which she casts a youthful Leonardo DiCaprio and other stars and fashion models in leading roles, with selections from Stephanie Seymour’s collection of vintage haute couture created by the eponymous designers Azzedine Alaia, Courreges, Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, Paco Rabanne and others. The resulting exhibition consists of imaginatively calibrated vignettes of paintings and fashion, which celebrate glamour, beauty, fantasy, and the occult through the eyes of two singular yet overlapping perceptions. The title references the stylish mid-twentieth-century high society women who writer Truman Capote dubbed “The Swans.” While the posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec concurrently on view represent his contemporaries in the fashion of their time both Kilimnik and the fashions featured in The Swans reimagine the glamour and romance of the bygone Belle Époque of the turn-of-the-century.

Situated midway between Miami and Palm Beach, NSU Art Museum is located in the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Museum is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs encompassing all facets of civilization’s visual history and is widely known for its significant collection of Latin American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on art by Black, Latin American, and women artists, as well as works by American artist William Glackens and the European Cobra group of artists.

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