Degas: A Passion for Perfection
by Jane Munro
Yale University Press
Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is heralded as one of the founders and masters of the impressionist movement, with the core of his oeuvre focusing on the life in Paris (think belle arts, ballet, café and theater) – nudes, lots of pink and white, the depiction of ornate clothes, exquisite dancing girls but more often than not mundane yet magic moments that are often overlooked: Ballerinas lost in mundane tasks and everything other than dancing.
Cue classical beauty, voyeurism par excellence and modern realism.
Degas considered himself an artist in the vein of Michelangelo, a book on which is reviewed in another recent blogpost,
What is interesting with Degas is that despite being influenced by the grand master Michelangelo, Degas had a weak spot for asymmetry, was an avid proponent of dramatic effect and averse to traditional composition.
What he achieved by that was scratching the surface and putting the focus on the hard work of ballet dancing and beauty in general that can be found beyond the surface.
A hundred years after Edgar Degas’ departure, the book is a well-made document that sheds light on Degas’ legacy and the influences it exerted on other significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, e.g. Francis Bacon, Picasso and David Hockney among others, comprising depictions not only of his more prominent and well-known paintings and sculptures, but also lesser known etchings, monotypes, and counter proofs, some of which are sources from private collections and shed light on for the first time, that give insight into the his creative processes.
Having a luminary like Jane Munro at the helm of the operation as her background and work for the University of Cambridge (as curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum as well as Director of Studies in History of Art at Christ’s College) ensures that her selection of contributors and their emissions is relevant and reveal interesting takes on Degas’ work.
The Spirit of Bauhaus Thames & Hudson Walter Gropius declared in his Bauhaus manifesto, which he penned in 1919 in Weimar and which forms the genesis of one of the ... read more
Mazzy Star Opera House Sydney, Australia June 11, 2018 Despite exerting a massive influence and having created their own lane, with crooners like Lana del Ray only being one of ... read more
German Film Festival May 22 – June 10, 2018 Sydney, Australia. Not unlike the American Essentials Festival, the German Film Festival showcase new Teutonic cinematic talent from the ole world ... read more
Water of Life Part 3 Ardbeg Day 2018 Sydney, Australia Miss Peaches June 2, 2018 Ardbeg. Where shall we start? Ardbeg’s ten year old, non-chill-filtered; uncoloured variety is as good ... read more
Brian Jonestown Massacre Sydney, Metro Theatre June 9, 2018 With seventeen albums under their belt, the collective known as the Brian Jonestown Massacre has been going since 1990. Early on ... read more
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.