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Celebrating Degas

Juried show to complement impressionist exhibit

Celebrating Degas

Before the Race (1895) from the Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist exhibit.


POSTED July 23, 2012 5:22 p.m.

The Carnegie Arts Center will be honoring one of the founders of impressionism with a West Coast premiere exhibit and a juried show open to all California artists.
Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist, Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle will be on view at the Carnegie from Oct. 6 until Jan. 13. Featuring more than 100 works on paper, it includes 40 drawings, prints, pastels, and photographs by Degas from his early days of making studies of works at the Louvre to late in his career.
"It is a fascinating look at a great artist observing, contemplating, and rendering what he sees around him," said Rebecca Phillips Abbott, executive director of the Carnegie Arts Center.
The exhibit offers a personal glimpse of the artist at work, often using family and friends as subjects. Also included in the exhibit are works on paper by artists in his circle, including Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Lines and Colors: Celebrating Degas, a juried show open to all California artists, will complement the exhibit. Its title is grounded in Degas' interest in formal qualities in art, such as line and color, which became the building blocks for his unprecedented portrayals of modern life and its inner dimensions. Artists are invited to enter works that speak to them of lines and colors and the legacy of Degas. There will be a single prize of $1,000 awarded for Best of Show.
"We put out a call for entries on the California state arts council website and we're very hopeful we'll have a great many local artists, who always do very well in these competitions," said Abbott.
Curating the competition will be: Abbott; Daryl Joseph Moore, dean, CSU Stanislaus College of the Arts; and Lisa McDermott, assistant director, Carnegie Arts Center. There is a non-refundable $15 entry fee per work. Artists may enter up to five works. Media categories include: oil and acrylics, photography, sculpture, works on paper and mixed media.
Degas was one of the founders of Impressionism and a key figure in the development of modernism; yet he is often referred to as the "reluctant Impressionist" because he had fundamental differences with them. He neither adapted their color palette nor their practice of plein air painting or painting out of doors. His emphasis on line countered their emphasis on form. On the other hand, most experts agree that he is more aligned with Impressionism than any other movement. His scenes of contemporary life, off-center and cropped compositions, and experiments with color are among the hallmarks of the Impressionist style. He also played a significant role in organizing the independent exhibiting society that came to be called the Impressionists. The first of their exhibitions was held in 1874 and Degas showed in all but one of their eight exhibitions.
All of the works in Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist were drawn from the collection of Robert Flynn Johnson, curator emeritus of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The exhibit is co-curated by Johnson and Louise Siddons, assistant professor and curator of collections at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.
For contest details and registration, visit www.carnegieartsturlock.org or call 632-5761.

 

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