Jodi Hauptman con Degas: A Strange New Beauty
A towering figure in 19th-century art, Degas is best known as a painter and chronicler of the ballet. In the 1870s, during an era of enthusiasm for experimental printmaking, Degas was introduced to the monotype process - drawing in black ink on a metal plate that was then run through a press, typically resulting in a single print. Captivated by the medium's potential, Degas made more than 300 monotypes during two discrete bursts of activity, from the mid-1870s to the mid-1880s, and again during the early 1890s. Taking the medium to new and radical heights, the artist abandoned the academic drawing style of his youth, inventing a new repertoire of mark-making that included wiping, scratching, abrading, finger printing and rendering via removal. Frequently, he used monotypes as a starting point from which an image could be reworked, revised, and re-crafted, often with pastel. Degas explored a variety of subject matter in these works, including scenes of modern life; harshly illuminated cafe singers; ballet dancers onstage, backstage, or in rehearsal; the life of the brothel; intimate moments at the bath; and landscapes. Degas' engagement with monotype had broad consequences for his work in other mediums; repetition and transformation, mirroring and reversal - all essential to Degas' work in monotype - was an ongoing logic of his work in drawing, painting, and pastel. Published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, this richly illustrated catalogue presents approximately 180 monotypes along with some 50 related works, including paintings, drawings, pastels, sketchbooks and prints. Essays and case studies by curators, scholars and conservators explore the creative potency of Degas' rarely seen monotypes, and highlight their impact on his wider practice.
"A Strange New Beauty" brings a new logic and coherence to Degas's experimentation... It makes the past feel alive and useful.--Roberta Smith "The New York Times "
-A Strange New Beauty- brings a new logic and coherence to Degas's experimentation... It makes the past feel alive and useful.--Roberta Smith -The New York Times -
More than 120 illustrations alternate with concise essays, offering an ideal way... to view these precursors of works by today's most interesting figurative artists.--Christopher Lyon "Bookforum "
An exceptionally complex and intriguing exhibition, which makes the best possible use of an array of works seldom seen in one place. Together they constitute a genuine portrait of the artist.--Anka Muhlstein "The New York Review of Books "
It was his work in monotype that reveals the true extent of his restless experimentation... With this medium, Degas is at his most modern, liberating drawing from tradition, depicting the body in new and daring ways, and boldly engaging the possibilities of abstraction.--James A. Cox "Midwest Book Review "
Breathtaking... There are visual pleasures here that you will never see anywhere else.--Deborah Solomon "WNYC "
That sense of expanded possibility pervades Degas's work in monotype, and carries over into other aspects of his art.--Susan Delson "The Wall Street Journal "
...reveals the inveterate experimentalist behind the tutus.--Andrea K. Scott "The New Yorker "
Degas at his most blissfully experimental.--Adam Lehrer "Forbes "