See How Degas Became Degas: One Show Traces the Artist’s Technical Triumphs
The exhibition, which will make only one US appearance, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the artist's death.
This year marks the centenary of Impressionist artist Edgar Degas’s death, and if you’re looking for a major exhibition to mark the occasion, turn your attention to the UK and Denver, Colorado. “Degas: A Passion for Perfection” will be on view at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, October 3, 2017–January 14, 2018, before traveling to its only US venue, the Denver Art Museum (DAM), February 11–May 20, 2018.
Over 100 works by the great artist will be on view, tracing his development from a traditional portraitist and history painter to the consummate master of depicting contemporary Parisian life. The show will include paintings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, drawings, and sculptures created by Degas between 1855 and 1906, as well as works by J.A.D. Ingres, Eugene Delacroix, and Paul Cezanne.
“Degas was the quintessential independent artist, and this exhibition will give visitors a more intimate look into his creative process as well as his public and private life,” said Christoph Heinrich, director of the DAM, in a statement. The show will provide an overview of the artist’s 60-year career and the recurring themes and subjects that dominated his oeuvre, such as the nude, the opera, horses, and, of course, dancers.
“Degas was determined to succeed on his own terms by blurring the boundaries of traditional media and pushing them to extremes,” added Timothy J. Standring, the museum’s curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM. (Jane Munro, keeper of paintings, drawings, and prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum is the exhibition organizer.)
“He excelled both as a colorist and a draftsman and met the challenges of new subject matter with experimental techniques,” said Standring. “Degas invented an oil medium known as l’essence, in which the oils in oil pigment are leached out and then mixed together with paint thinner, and took his mark-making to new extremes by printing sticky ink drawings, known as monotypes.”
The show will include loans from both public and private collections in the US and Europe, as well as works from the collection of economist John Maynard Keynes, purchased shortly after Degas’s death in a studio sale.
See more works from the exhibition below:
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.