Essays by Carol Armstrong, Jonas Beyer, Kathryn Brown, Karl Buchberg, Hollis Clayson, Samantha Friedman, Richard Kendall, Laura Neufeld, Stephanie O'Rourke, Raisa Rexer, and Jill de Vonyar
May 25, 2017
Edgar Degas is best known as a chronicler of the ballet, yet his work in monotype reveals his restless experimentation. In the mid-1870s, Degas was introduced to the monotype process – drawing in ink on a metal plate that was then run through a press. Captivated by the monotype's potential, he embraced it with enthusiasm, taking the medium to radical ends. He expanded the possibilities of drawing, created surfaces with heightened tactility, and invented new means for new subjects, from dancers in motion to the radiance of electric light, from women in intimate settings to meteorological effects in nature. With his monotypes, Degas is at his most modern, capturing the spirit of urban life, depicting the body in new ways, and exploring abstraction.
Published to accompany an exhibition at MoMA, this richly illustrated catalogue presents approximately 120 monotypes and some 60 related works in other mediums. Texts by curators, scholars, and conservators explore the creative potency of Degas's rarely seen monotypes and highlight their impact on his wider practice.