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Sofia Borges, “Untitled,” 2020. Photograph after Edgar Degas’s “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen,” 1880, collection MASP. Courtesy of the artist, São Paulo, Brazil. From

In 'Degas: Dance, Politics and Society,' a radical reconception of the artist's sculpture

This 2020 photograph by Sofia Borges of Edgar Degas’s iconic 1880 bronze, “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen,” is reproduced from Degas: Dance, Politics and Society, published by DelMonico Books and Museu de Arte de São Paulo to accompany the recent MASP exhibition radically reconceiving the notorious French Impressionist’s sculpture through the lens of gender, identity, labor, race and the representation of women. “In his own day, Degas was called a ‘misogynist’ by some and a ‘feminist’ by other nineteenth-century commentators, who were discomforted by his unorthodox images of contemporary women,” Norma Broude writes. “Those images threatened to pose an unwelcome challenge to the patriarchal status quo, a threat that the accusation of misogyny—personal perversion on the artist’s part—might act to neutralize and contain. In the present day, Degas’s art continues to function as a societal lightning rod, for we see reflected in it many of the issues of gender inequity and sexual exploitation that have survived, unresolved, into the present. From that perspective, we might understand the persistent parroting of the ‘misogyny’ label in the Degas literature as a continuation of the same blame-shifting strategy that was first deployed against him by his contemporaries. The persistence of that characterization reflects not only the enduring power in our own world of the patriarchal ideology that Degas’s art attempted to unmask, but also our society’s need to disguise its survival.”

Image credit: Sofia Borges, “Untitled,” 2020. Photograph after Edgar Degas’s “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen,” 1880, collection MASP. Courtesy of the artist, São Paulo, Brazil.

Degas: Dance, Politics and Society

Degas: Dance, Politics and Society

DelMonico Books/Museu de Arte de São Paulo
Hbk, 8 x 10.75 in. / 344 pgs / 188 color / 104 b&w.

$85.00  free shipping

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