A Passion for Perfection at the Denver Art Museum
Sydney Hodgson | @SydneyLHodgson
Degas: A Passion for Perfection is the first major exhibit at The Denver Art Museum in 2018. The highly anticipated show is the exhibit’s only American presentation. “This is an exhibition that gets to the core of what Degas is all about: it’s all about process, his obsessions and his repetition of various forms,” Timothy Standring, the Gates Family Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the DAM, who curated the show, explained at the exhibit’s opening celebration.
This special exhibition features more than 100 pieces by the artist, including paintings, sketches and sculptures, that walk you through Degas’s artistic process and evolution. The artworks highlight the range of subjects Degas showcased during his nearly 60 year career as an artist, including portraits, horses, nudes, and dance. All of which exemplify his unique perspective, but none more so than the pieces illustrating modern life in Paris in the 19th Century. Striking, moody paintings show women sitting alone at a bar or leaning excitedly over a balcony at the theater.
The exhibition itself has a more simple layout than many of the Denver Art Museum’s recent shows. With the exception of a model of Degas’s studio in Paris, the gallery is not an enthralling experience in itself, as the art rests simply against deep blue walls, pulling you through the exhibit at a slow and thoughtful pace. Be warned: many of the paintings and sketches are small and this great artist is expected to bring large crowds, so be patient if you want to get up close. The wait is worth it.
Edgar Degas once famously said “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Head down the Hamilton building to find out what you will see in the paintings of this prolific Frenchman. Degas: A Passion for Perfection will be showing at the Denver Art Museum from February 11th-May 20th.