NGV Holds ‘Degas: A New Vision Exhibition’ For Winter
This winter, the National Gallery of Victoria is exhibiting a collection of over 200 artworks created by Edgar Degas, one of the most celebrated artists of the French Impressionism movement.
The former director of the Musee D’Orsay and the Louvre Museum, Henri Loyrette has been studying Degas for over 40 years, and has curated the new exhibition to focus on the various life experiences that inspired the artists’ work.
Starting from his early years, the exhibition moves through Degas’ life in a chronological order, enlightening the viewer on fascinating details about the artist’s life and providing new perspectives from which to appreciate his artwork.
The chronological layout of the exhibition effectively highlights the fact that Degas’ art was never limited by a specific theme or style, but was constantly changing in accordance to the events occurring in his life. In the early days of his artistic career, Degas’ family members were the subject of most of his paintings. The highlight of this particular period in his career is “The Bellelli Family”, one of Degas’ most famous and largest paintings, which depicts the unhappy relationship between his aunt and her husband, set against the backdrop of the family living room.
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From there, in an attempt to commercialise his artwork, Degas began to paint a variety of historic events, influenced by the styles of the Old Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. However, he soon moved on to explore the themes of horseracing and real life depiction through various paintings of labourers, ballerinas and city life.
Besides painting, Degas also explored the mediums of printmaking, photography and sculpting. And although he only exhibited one sculpture during his life, the NGV exhibition contains numerous small sculptures that Degas created in the privacy of his own studio.
Halfway through the exhibition, visitors are treated to a large timeline that details many of the significant events that occurred in Degas’ life. The second-half of the exhibition then focuses on Degas’ fascination with observing and depicting women partaking in various intimate activities such as personal grooming and private conversations.
Degas: A New Vision will be open to the public every day from Friday June 24th – Sunday September 18th 2016. Alongside the new exhibition, the NGV will also be hosting their annual “Friday Nights at NGV” event, featuring a live performance from various musical guests such as The Grates, Pierce Brothers and Augie March, every Friday night until September 16th 2016. More details on the exhibition and events can be found at the official NGV website.
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