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BAJ, DEGAS and dionysos
Transcript of BAJ, DEGAS and dionysos
Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints
This innovative collaboration between the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art and the Department of Prints and Drawings examines Renaissance and Baroque printmakers’ direct responses to Classical antiquity through the figure of Dionysos, the ancient Greek god of wine and theater
As a student Degas dreamed of drawing like Raphael and Michelangelo, and he later revived the French tradition of pastels that had flourished with the 18th-century master Chardin.
Caryatid Figure of the Muse Melpomene, about 2nd century A.D. Roman, Asia Minor
BAJ, DEGAS and dionysos
Installed in the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, this exhibition juxtaposes ancient sculpture with prints from the 15th through the 18th century with nearly 100 objects—pieces from the permanent collection, new loans of ancient art, and recently acquired works on paper.
Andrea Mantegna, 1470 Bacchanal with a WineVat
Statue of a Young Dionysos, 100 B.C.-100 A. D.
Johann Theodor de Bry. Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy, plate 8 from Parnassus Biceps, 1601
Bringing together this rich selection of works, separated by as many as 1,500 years, this exhibition offers new, enticing insights into the art of Classical antiquity and its later revivals.
But like his contemporaries, Manet, Cézanne and the Impressionists, he lived in an age of photography and electricity, and he turned to aspects of modern life—to slums, brothels and horse races—to apply his draftsmanship.
At the ballet Degas found a world that excited both his taste for classical beauty and his eye for modern realism. He haunted the wings and classrooms of the magnificent Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opéra and its Ballet, where some of the city’s poorest young girls struggled to become the fairies, nymphs and queens of the stage.
Opera and ballet were a fashionable part of Parisian cultural life, and Degas was likely in the audience long before he began to paint the dancers. Indeed, some of his first dance paintings portray the audience and orchestra as prominently as the ballerinas onstage.
A friend taught him how to make a monotype print by drawing on an inked plate that was then run through a press, Degas at once did something unexpected. After making one print, he quickly made a second, faded impression from the leftover ink on the plate, then worked with pastels and gouache over this ghostly image.
This technique gave Degas a new way to depict the artificial light of the stage. The soft colors of his pastels took on a striking luminosity when laid over the harsher black-and-white contrasts of the underlying ink.
Edgar Degas 1874
Italian painter, printmaker and writer on art. Born in Milan. Studied part-time at the Brera Academy and then took a law degree. Began to paint again 1946-7, soon developing an abstract tachiste style with linear signs. Founded the Nuclear Art Movement with Sergio Dangelo in 1951 and in the following years sought to establish contacts with avant-garde artists in other countries.
First one-man exhibition with Dangelo at the Galleria San Fedele, Milan, 1951. Joined Jorn's Mouvement International pour une Bauhaus Imaginiste in 1954 and with him organised the International Centre for Ceramics at Albisola Marina. Developed a more figurative style with humorous caricature-like personages and from 1955 began to make use of collage (cotton, mattresses, glass, etc.), both alone and with oil paints. Contacts with Fontana, Manzoni, Klein and from 1960 with the French Nouveaux Realistes.
Baj never gave up belief in the avant-garde and saw himself as part of a surviving remnant of it which sought to do what the avant-garde has always done best: confront and oppose officialdom while also working against contemporary taste and aesthetics and its celebration of power and authority
"Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints." <i>The Art Institute of Chicago</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
"History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian." <i>History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
"PAINTING AS A RADICAL ACT: ENRICO BAJ AND JEAN BAUDRILLARD." <i>İzinsiz Gösteri</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.