Paramount Presents: Exhibition on Screen – Degas, Passion For Perfection
Live Broadcasts | 11/15/2018 | 7:00PM
Image Credits: Dance Examination (Examen de Danse), 1880. Pastel on paper; 24 1/2 x 18 in. Denver Art Museum: Anonymous gift, 1941.6. Photography courtesy of Denver Art Museum. Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes (1816-96) c.1865 (oil on canvas), Degas, Edgar / Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images
EOS Degas – Passion for Perfection, filming at Fitzwilliam Museum © EXHIBITION ON SCREEN (David Bickerstaff)
Directed by David Bickerstaff
Running time: 85 minutes
“Art is not a matter of what you see, but what you make other people see.” – Edgar Degas
EXHIBITION ON SCREEN journeys from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to view rare and diverse works, this film tells a fascinating story of Degas’ pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learnt from studying the past masters.
Sometimes frustrated by his own failings, Degas was consumed by obsessive principles and failing eye sight but his determination to capture everyday life was evident in every mark he made. Never fully satisfied, many of Degas’ drawings and sculptures were kept in private during his lifetime but, now through close examination, they can be seen as some of the most beautifully detailed and expressive works in the modern era. Using written accounts by friends and commentators, and the narration of letters written by Degas himself, this film reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late 19th-century and serves as an exploration of the complex workings of Degas’ artistic mind.
Phil Grabsky, Executive Producer of EXHIBITION ON SCREEN, comments:
“Edgar Degas is one of the greats of modern art and yet is little known apart from his paintings of young ballet dancers, and certainly often misunderstood. For his contemporaries he was a giant – but a giant that preferred to stay in the shadows. The recent fabulous exhibition on his life at The Fitzwilliam Museum allows this new film to reveal just who Degas was and why he is so significant.”
David Bickerstaff, Director of Degas: Passion for Perfection, comments:
“Considered by many to be one of the greatest draughtsmen of all time, Degas enthrals us with his views of the everyday – cafe life, horse racing, ballet dancers, family portraits and intimate female nudes. Constantly experimenting and embracing new ideas, Degas is revealed as a controversial figure full of contradictions and never short of making his opinions known. His closest friends described him as ‘a constant, brilliant, unbearable guest, spreading wit, terror, and gaiety’. Highly regarded by other artists, Degas’ influence spans a seismic shift in art history which marked the arrival of Impressionism and a new modernism.”
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