The exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and the Spirit o Montmartre takes visitors on a trip to the magical scenery of the famous Paris district during the Belle Époque. It is conceived as a dialog between exterior spaces –which represent the Montmartre streets– and interior rooms –which evoke the nightlife clubs where artists, intellectuals and other people within the bohemian circle used to meet–.
Production: Fundació Bancària “la Caixa”, Russel Collection and other institutions
Location: Barcelona i Madrid
© Photography: Pepo Segura
When we access the exhibition, we notice an urban character to the fist rooms, reinforced by the walls’ irregular geometry and the greyish neutral shades of colour. This atmosphere contrasts the interior rooms, which are defined by intense colours, wallpaper, dim light and velvet drapery that carries us to a different era.
At Toulouse-Lautrec and the Spirit o Montmartre everything is based on evocation and abstraction. Since the beginning, our aim has been to submerge the visitors into an evocative scenery that helps them understand the works, without diminishing their protagonism. This is achieved through abstract scenographic elements in both kinds of spaces. The exterior emulates a nocturnal urban landscape, illuminated by streetlights that reveal a cobblestone pattern over the room’s carpet. With regard to the interiors, the effect is achieved through colour and conceptual scenography inspired in 19th-20th century decorative arts. The mouldings and curtains are complemented by wooden doorframes, street benches and chandeliers. These elements do not belong to a distinctive style. Instead, they have been specifically designed and selected so that they don’t turn out to be excessively figurative, always in the background in relation to the works.
In conclusion, all these resources aim to find a balance between concepts and ideas, works of art, and the room that accommodates them, taking us to a time full of creativity, music, magic and bohemian hedonism.