Degas

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For the first time ever in Australia, audiences will have the opportunity to see an exhibition on one of the most important and admired Impressionist artists – Edgar Degas (France 1834-1917).

Art Exhibition previously on at National Gallery of Australia in Acton precinct, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
From Friday 12 December 2008 to Sunday 22 March 2009

Published by anonymous on Friday 13 June 2008.
Contact the publisher.

Presenting an extensive and thorough examination of Degas’ painting, sculpture, drawing, monotypes and prints, the exhibition will highlight his role as a key figure in the development towards modern art. Degas traces the evolution of the artist’s style from finely crafted paintings to exuberant canvases with brilliant palettes and loose brushwork. The exhibition will also showcase works from Degas’s favoured subject-matter – the ballet, the race-course, the café-concerts, milliners, laundresses, brothel scenes and bathers.

Degas’ art and his subject-matter are instantly recognisable and have attracted millions of visitors to galleries around the world. The exhibition includes some of his most famous and most loved paintings of the ballet and the race course.

This exhibition will present an extensive and thorough examination of Degas’ art and will be the first exhibition devoted to this artist’s work ever to be shown in Australia.

The works are drawn from the world’s most important collections including: the Metropolitan Museum in New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Los Angeles County Museum; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, Princeton; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the National Gallery of Scotland; Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery; the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham; the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Jacques Doucet Collection, Paris; as well as support from Australian public and private collections.

The exhibition spans the period from Degas’ early portraiture, through to his paintings of ballet and horse racing, and concludes with his later experimental paintings and photographs of the 1890s. The National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition explores the rich visual and literary sources which inspired Degas in his early years and also shows Degas as a gifted portrait artist.

It will show Degas as a key figure in the development of modern art. A major theme of this exhibition is to show the transformation of Degas as an artist and how his experimentation contributed to the development of his singular style. It traces the development of Degas’ style from finely crafted paintings to those works which possess a brilliant palette and looser brushwork.

Degas’ subject matter was intrinsically modern – the café–concerts, the ballet, the race course, milliners, laundresses, bathers and brothel scenes. It is at this time that his art became more exploratory in its composition and its execution. His art became more intimate and informal which is part of his wide appeal to audiences.

The exhibition will also explore other relevant themes such as the influence of French caricature, Japanese prints and photography, as well as the literary and theatrical influences, on Degas.