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News 21 Jul 17

Edgar Degas’ Ballerinas Strike a Pose at Belgrade

One of the biggest art scene events in Belgrade this summer will undoubtedly be the exhibition of renowned French impressionist, Edgar Degas. 

David Galic
Most of Degas’ works at the National Museum come from private collections, carefully created and curated by wealthy Belgraders who loved, understood and admired art. Photo: Galerija SANU 

Celebrated French impressionist Edgar Degas' drawings, monotypes and photographs  will be on display at Belgrade's Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, SANU, from July 15 -September 15.

The exhibition, titled Edgar Degas: Moments of Observation, is being organised in cooperation with the National Museum in Belgrade and SANU.

The National Museum, in permanent state of closure for renovation, boasts an impressive collection of Degas’ work and Belgrade enthusiasts will be able to see plenty of his graceful dancers on display at the exhibition.

The exhibition primarily consists of paintings and works that are part of the museum's permanent collection. These pieces are mostly drawings and monotypes – works on paper.

In addition, the audience will be able to see firsthand the artist’s early incursions into the world of photography.

In late 19th century Paris, photography was a brand new, exciting medium that promised a lot in terms of artistic expression and technical delivery. Like so many other artists of the same era and the same cultural background, Degas was excited and inspired by photography, and used it to explore, analyse and eternalise the fast-moving, dynamic, rapidly changing world that was Europe at the turn of the century. 

In visiting this exhibition, Belgraders can transport themselves back into that era and hopefully feel the excitement of living in a world in which the future seemed so bright and promising.

“The creation, history and path of Edgar Degas’ artwork from the National Museum speak of turbulent, often tragic historical events, but more than anything, the exhibition presents a cultural climate that made its mark on both Europe in general and our society,” an official statement from the museum reads.

Like so many works of art in the institution, most of Degas’ works held there come from private collections, carefully created and curated by wealthy Belgraders who loved, understood and admired art. In the case of these pictures, most comes from the collections of Erih Slomovic, a young Jewish man who lost his life tragically in World War II.

The authors of the exhibition are Dragana Kovacic, Milanka Todic and Jelena Dergenc who put together a monographic catalogue that the visitors will be able to buy at the Gallery.

SANU Gallery is open every day from 10am to 9pm, except for Thursdays, when the opening hours are 11am-4pm, and Mondays, when the gallery is closed.  

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

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