Arts & Entertainment

Midnight in Paris

FAC dives into ‘La Belle Époque’ in summer exhibit


Paris has been the center of more than one artistic explosion over the years, and generation after generation have journeyed to the city to participate in their own pivotal epoch.

One of the most well known artistic eras is the avant-garde “La Belle Époque,” which arose during the turn of the 19th century and introduced artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Juan Gris, and Mary Cassatt.

The Foothills Arts Center is giving art lovers a chance to revisit this wonderful age of art with its exhibit, “ Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910.”

The exhibit will be at the FAC, 809 15th St. in Golden, through Aug. 17. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

“We are excited to have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring these rare works of Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries to downtown Golden and present art at an international level in a local and intimate venue,” said Mary Ellen Williams, Executive Director of FAC.

The exhibit highlights the work of Toulouse-Lautrec while featuring works from 94 of his contemporaries and taps into the various different avant-garde movements, from Realists, Naturalists and Symbolists to Nabis, and Incohérents.

“You get to see the great variety of the works, the subjects, the colors,” said Marianne Lorenz, curator of FAC. “Almost all of the works we have on display are paintings and works on paper.”

Lorenz added that the work of Tolouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries forged the way for future artists like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons by erasing the boundaries between high art and popular culture.

The works come from private and public collections in Holland and France in an array of media: paintings, watercolors, drawings, rare zinc shadow puppet silhouettes, and illustrated programs for the famous Chat Noir cabaret shadow theatre. The lenders include the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; the Musee d’Ixelles, Belgium; the Stichting Het Kattenkabinet, Amsterdam; and Private Collections in The Netherlands and France.

To spread information about the artists and the era they lived in, FAC will be hosting several special events throughout the exhibit’s stay, including lectures from Lorenz, tours and film showings of “Moulin Rouge” and “Midnight in Paris.”

One of the more unique events will be Absinthe in the Era of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Golden Moon Speakeasy, 1111 Miner’s Alley. The event is 6-8 p.m. on July 31.

Stephen Gould, Proprietor and Distiller at Golden Moon Distillery and Golden Moon Speakeasy, will speak about the history and folklore of absinthe during the 19th century in France and Lorenz will discuss the culture and significance of Paris at the fin de siècle (turn of the century).

Lorenz described the time in French history as extremely lively and that shows up in artwork produced during these years.

“This is a great opportunity for people to come in and see some fabulous original prints,” she said. “We work really hard here at Foothills to show different kinds of art and contextualize them — these are beautiful things that you won’t see elsewhere.”

For a list of events and more information call 303-279-3922 or visit .


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