The NGV announced today that it will be home to one of the most comprehensive Edgar Degas exhibitions in decades, in partnership with The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
The French impressionist’s warm, evocative portraits of daily life in Paris at the turn of the 19th century came to define the time, and created a new place in art for the depiction of intimate experience. Whereas a lot of 19th-century art stuck to formal portraits and classical scenes, Degas explored the real world: nightclubs, theatre dressing rooms, cafes and bathrooms. He was not just a painter, however, but also an accomplished (and often groundbreaking) sculptor, printmaker and photographer.
The unifying theme across all his work is movement. Rather than depicting subjects in static poses, Degas experimented with ways of showing motion. He was especially interested in capturing the everyday – which was for many at the time, the unimportant: horses at the track, dressmakers and laundresses at work, women bathing. The link between the two found a famous form in his obsession with performance: theatre, cabaret and especially ballet (his ballerina works number in the hundreds).
More than 200 works have been gathered from 42 cities around the world, bringing the belle époque master to Melbourne for a world-premiere retrospective.
Degas: A New Vision is on at NGV International from 24 June–18 September 2016 as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series.
Tickets on sale now from ngv.vic.gov.au.