New season of ‘Exhibition on Screen’ explores art, life of Degas

BRATTLEBORO — Latchis Arts announces the return of its popular Exhibition on Screen series on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18, at 4 p.m., with Degas: Passion for Perfection, at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St.

A pioneering series of cinematic films about exhibitions, galleries, and artists, Exhibition on Screen opens its 2018-19 season by offering unique insight into Degas' personal and creative life, looking at his relationship with the Impressionist movement, his fascination with dance, and his struggle with his eyesight, which in time would prevent him from making art altogether.

The film uncovers the fascinating story of Degas' obsessive pursuit of perfection both through experimentation with new techniques and the study of past masters.

“Always working, searching, almost always dissatisfied, [Degas] kept the greater part of his art hidden in boxes out of which he scarcely ever took anything ... except what he was forced to sell to enable him to live,” says French historian Daniel Halevy.

Throughout the film, Degas' search for excellence is revealed through multiple iterations of compositions and obsessive reworking of artworks, sometimes even asking for paintings back from buyers to continue working on them.

Along with close-up views of Degas' work, written accounts by friends and commentators and letters by Degas himself reveal the complex inner workings of one of France's most influential artists.

The 2018-19 season of Exhibition on Screen continues on Feb. 16 and 17 with Young Picasso.

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