As the art historian John Rewald once noted, the term “Post-Impressionism” was more of a convenience than a precise descriptive term. The artists in this movement were unified only by their desire to move beyond the Impressionists, and this desire took them in all manner of productive directions. Arlington Museum of Art might not have the resources to host a major show of Cézanne, Gauguin, or Van Gogh, but its new exhibit Toulouse-Lautrec and the Post-Impressionists still boasts an enviable lineup of recognizable artists from this period.
As the title suggests, the show is largely built around the poster designs, drawings, and portraits of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the astonishingly prolific chronicler of life in Paris’ demi-monde. However, it also follows the Post-Impressionists in other directions, like the Nabi movement of Paul Sérusier, Édouard Vuillard, and Pierre Bonnard, avant-garde artists whose use of color pointed the way for the abstract expressionists later on. Worth checking out are the flamboyant designs of the Czech master Alphonse Mucha, whose paintings and theatrical posters are masterpieces of Art Nouveau. It’s nice to have AMA staging major art exhibits again.
[box_info]Toulouse-Lautrec and the Post-Impressionists runs May 16-Aug 16 at 201 W Main St, Arlington. Admission is $5-8. Call 817-275-4600.[/box_info]