Degas: A Strange New Beauty

Edited by Jodi Hauptman. Essays by Carol Armstrong, Jonas Beyer, Kathryn Brown, Karl Buchberg, Hollis Clayson, Samantha Friedman, Richard Kendall, Laura Neufeld, Stephanie O'Rourke, Raisa Rexer, and Jill de Vonyar.

Edgar Degas is best known as a chronicler of the ballet, yet his work in monotype reveals his restless experimentation. In the mid-1870s, Degas was introduced to the monotype process – drawing in ink on a metal plate that was then run through a press.  Captivated by the monotype's potential, he embraced it with enthusiasm, taking the medium to radical ends. He expanded the possibilities of drawing, created surfaces with heightened tactility, and invented new means for new subjects, from dancers in motion to the radiance of electric light, from women in intimate settings to meteorological effects in nature. With his monotypes, Degas is at his most modern, capturing the spirit of urban life, depicting the body in new ways, and exploring abstraction.

Published to accompany an exhibition at MoMA, this richly illustrated catalogue presents approximately 120 monotypes and some 60 related works in other mediums. Texts by curators, scholars, and conservators explore the creative potency of Degas's rarely seen monotypes and highlight their impact on his wider practice.


Publisher MoMA
Number of pages 224
  • $19.99
    Digital - English
  • $60.00
    Digital + Hardcover - English
Some book reviews
The New York Times (Roberta Smith):
"A Strange New Beauty brings a new logic and coherence to Degas’s experimentation... It makes the past feel alive and useful."

Forbes (Adam Lehrer):
"Degas at his most blissfully experimental."

The Wall Street Journal:
"In monotype, even his ballet dancers leap into new territory."