NGV: Degas A New Vision Exhibition

Degas: A New Vision exhibition. 


Curated by eminent French scholar and former Director of the Musée du Louvre, Henri Loyrette, Degas: A New Vision explores the complete span of Degas’ fifty-year career as a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor and photographer; laying bare his evolution.

Edgar Degas was born in 1834 into a wealthy banking family, having this advantage his family were supportive of his artistic talent and desire to become an artist.
Degas challenged being labelled an ‘impressionist’ yet was at the core of the movement’s most important manifestations. Classically trained, Degas initially aspired to be a painter of historical narratives. As he matured,  his work changed, focusing on daily life art. He was drawn to the human figure which engaged in movement and work, sketching on the spot then working up his finished compositions indoors in his studio. Degas had an obsession with the theatre and ballet; this helped him explore his fascination with artificial light, which set him apart from the other Impressionists who preferred to work out-of-doors capturing the transient effects of natural daylight. 

 Edgar Degas The little fourteen-year-old dancer 1879–81, cast 1922–37Installation view of Degas: A New Vision at NGV International, 24 June – 18 September 2016. Photo: Tom Ross

Edgar Degas The little fourteen-year-old dancer 1879–81, cast 1922–37Installation view of Degas: A New Vision at NGV International, 24 June – 18 September 2016. Photo: Tom Ross

Entering the beginning of the exhibition you will be greeted by Degas’ early stages and the beginning of his phenomenal art career. As I watched his technique and style change throughout his career, there were a few pieces that made an impression on me. 

Firstly the painting of the two sisters, depicting one sister as blurred due to her being shy, whereas the other was outgoing. He really did justice the detail he wanted to portray with his paintings. 

 Installation view of Degas: A New Vision at NGV International, 24 June – 18 September 2016. Photo: Tom Ross

Installation view of Degas: A New Vision at NGV International, 24 June – 18 September 2016. Photo: Tom Ross

The other is the little ballerina sculpture, complete with the bodice. These pieces are original, and he was making headlines; daring to be different in creating a piece that caused so much commotion during that period of time. 

And finally, his paintings of the ballerinas, where he sat, admired and painted; and told a hidden story about the ballerinas throughout their career. 

This is an exhibition that is not to be missed. Explore and experience the life of DEGAS

 Georgia Scott-Hunter and Evie Ferris, Artists of The Australian Ballet, at Degas: A New Vision at NGV International, 24 June – 18 September 2016.Photo: Wayne Taylor

Georgia Scott-Hunter and Evie Ferris, Artists of The Australian Ballet, at Degas: A New Vision at NGV International, 24 June – 18 September 2016.Photo: Wayne Taylor