First Degas Retrospective in Nearly 30 Years to Arrive in Houston

Wikimedia Commons//Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons//Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons//Public Domain

A new traveling retrospective opening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) in Texas this October will display around 200 of Edgar Degas’s works, created throughout the course of the French artist’s career, The Art Newspaper reports. It’s the first major Degas retrospective since 1988—and Houston is the only U.S. stop on its global tour.

"Degas: A New Vision” debuted at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, in June. It will open in Houston on October 16 and run through January 8, 2017. The retrospective will highlight works from both public and private art collections in 13 countries, including photos, paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures.

Degas is renowned for his oil paintings of ballerinas. But while more than half of his works depict dancers, his full portfolio also includes nudes, jockey scenes, and portraits. Visitors will get to see less-recognizable works like Women Ironing (1884-1886) and A Cotton Office in New Orleans (1873), and trace the artist’s creative evolution over the decades.

"Degas: A New Vision” spans Degas’s career from the 1850s to the turn of the 20th century. After the 1870s, the artist's aesthetic was constantly “in progress,” former Musée d’Orsay curator and director Henri Loyrette—who co-organized the Grand Palais’s iconic 1988 Degas retrospective and helped plan “Degas: A New Vision”—told The Art Newspaper.

“He is always repeating and adding new elements, so the work is much more open than before.”

Still, despite those changes, the final product is always intended to do the same thing: “startle rather than to please,” Gary Tinterow, director of the MFAH, told The Art Newspaper. “He wanted to provoke, so you could slice through the facades of daily life and show what it means to be human.”

For more information on "Degas: A New Vision,” visit the MFAH’s website.

[h/t The Art Newspaper]

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