Project Hilaire Germain Edgar de Gas

Hilaire Germain Edgar de Gas

This project is an ensemble of works based on studies of the great master Edgar Degas’ ballerina thema.

Degas became, at the end of his career, a modern artist who through his Expressionism influenced both Bonnard and Rouault and many of the more creative colorists of our own day. I am one of them.

Like Degas’ late works in pastel, my pastelworks are more painted than drawn : I put coat after coat of colored chalk on the canvas, moistening them and piling up one surface on another until these works take on something of the quality of miniature frescoes. Degas goes back to the deep, sonorous colors of the Venetians, I try to bring up the best of every colour, its deepness, vibrations, force and sensibility.

The composition : one or several figures on one side balancing with the emptiness on the other; the exaggeration of space around the ballerina; the gathering of light into a few major areas ; the curtain to create lines and verticals ; colours and shades to suggest perspectives and create a deep atmosphere. The theme of this ballet scene is pausation. No details, only brief touches of almost precious color, only the structure of the painting is important. I strive for unity, I wish to express, rather than depict.

« It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one’s memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory. »
Edgar Degas