Toulouse Lautrec Ver. I #2
Mixed Media on Paper
18" x 12"
An iconic portrait image from Peter Max's early works of the mid-1960s, 'Toulouse Lautrec' is Max's homage to the French painter and printmaker whose brightly hued posters featuring bold typography and playful imagery colorized the streets of turn-of-the-century Paris.
Influenced by dynamic new works of German and Swiss graphic designers in the mid-60s, Max took his realism skills to a new level, creating works that reflected changes in photo and printing technology of the time. With a new graphic art style, Max made high contrast prints of archival photographs to eliminate gray tones. He retouched them with India ink, creating a new form of minimalism, then enhanced the works with color blends and patterns.
In this piece, the artist has added textured, contour brushwork to the bold, iconic portrait. Like Toulouse Lautrec had done decades earlier, Max created printed art that achieved broad popularity, created a 'poster mania,' spoke to the bohemian lifestyle, entered museum collections and added color and joy to everyday life. And like Lautrec's, often Max poster art was stolen from public spaces by impassioned collectors.