Yesterday I accompanied a group of friends to the MOMA to view the special Degas Exhibition. I chose to go to this particular exhibition, not because I was that interested in seeing more of Degas, but because I was viewing the exhibition with friends, most of whom are artists.
As usual when experiencing a new exhibition of an old painter, I learned more about this Impressionist painter than I imagined possible. First of all, I had no idea that Degas was so prolific. True, I’ve seen his works in every major museum in the Western World. In Fact, I have even seen a couple in a private collection. This collection, however, featured tons of his monographs, in black and white, as well as those to which he added pastels or oils, many of which are in private collections.
Any one who has visited a major museum has probably seen at least one or two paintings of Degas dancers, those sweet little ballerinas in fluffy pastel tutus. Or, perhaps, marveled at the wax sculptures he created and to which he added little tulle tutus. The art student has undoubtedly enjoyed many of his sketches and studies in art books. This exhibit contained a few of Degas more well -known works, but it featured several experimental and pornographic works of the artist. Probably because I am somewhat of a romantic, I could have done without some of the works held in private collections.
The best part of the experience for me was the joyful, inspiring reaction the collection had on the artist friend that I wheeled through the collection. She told me that her head was just full of impressions and ideas. In spite of her advanced age and her deteriorating physical condition, she looked forward to mentally reviewing what she had seen yesterday so that she could create her own work today.