July 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
Owner and director Josef Glimer was recently featured on CBS news, where he discussed the turmoil surrounding his impending trip to Israel. We’re happy to report that flights to the area resumed soon after, and Josef has joined his wife Barbara in Jerusalem. Wishing the Glimers safe travels for the remainder of their trip! We look forward to sharing new artworks by our talented Israeli artists upon their return.
July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
This painting, currently on display at Josef Glimer Gallery, is originally from the collection of Louis Legrand’s loyal friend and publisher Gustave Pellet.
An important predecessor of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Legrand has largely fallen into public obscurity. Like Lautrec, Legrand lived in Montmartre and developed an interest in Parisian fashion, women and nightlife—popular motifs in art during the colorful Belle Époque, the period of peace and prosperity in France and Belgium just before World War I. But Legrand maintained a bourgeois lifestyle that contrasted with Lautrec’s trademark immersion in the subversive pleasures of Paris. This fact, along with Lautrec’s early death, may have allowed Legrand to be overshadowed by his romanticized peer in the art historical canon.
Legrand is best known for his aquatints and etchings published in limited edition books, a medium that flourished during the Belle Époque and fell out of popularity after the Great Depression. Born in Dijon in 1863, Legrand was employed as a bank clerk until he was twenty, studying at the Dijon Ecole des Beaux-Arts in his spare time. In 1884 he studied under master Belgian printmaker Félicien Rops.
Early in his career, Legrand worked as a satirical cartoonist for the Courrier Français. His drawings varied from peasant life to political commentary and often explored the exploitation of women. He received negative attention for a cartoon symbolizing the dark side of prostitution, and he was tried for obscenity over a satirical piece featuring naturalist writer Emile Zola meticulously examining a woman’s thigh.
The artist provided illustrations for can-can themed articles in Gil Blas magazine, and his two albums Les Petit Ballet (The Little Ones of the Ballet) and La Petite Classe explored the evolution of young dancers from their first lessons and rigorous training to their interactions with stage-door johnnies.
Legrand seldom focused on performances, typically more interested in behind-the-scenes efforts and backstage dynamics. Intermission at the Folies may be set backstage at the Folies Bergère, a cabaret nightclub in its height of fame at the time, or it may depict a prostitute preparing for her next client. Either way, like many Belle Époque images, the male gaze is prevalent—the subject’s grimace and bright red hair suggest unbridled sensuality.