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Degas Before Degas: A Printmaker’s Intriguing Early Paintings
March 3, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
- Related Exhibition: EDGAR DEGAS: The Private Impressionist
Margaret MacNamidhe, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Bright pastel hatched in like slanting rain; the crook of an elbow, the side of a face swiped in by a rag applied to paper—techniques from the worlds of drawing and printmaking gave Degas the scenes of keyhole realism taken as most characteristic of his work. But Degas once stood foursquare before an easel, trying for a more traditional fullness of view and composition. In his early days, he applied an oil painting brush to primed canvas or paper, but not always confidently, and not always conclusively. In fact, it is as though Degas stepped forever away from some of his earlier paintings, leaving figures eternally suspended or only partly rendered. In this lecture, Margaret MacNamidhe takes a look at this doubting version of Degas through a return to works from the beginning of this artist’s storied career.