BIRMINGHAM, UK.- The Barber Institute of Fine Arts presents Reunited: Degas and ‘Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando’ on view through May 15, 2005. Edgar Degas’s famous tour de force, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, generously lent by the National Gallery, is for the first time displayed at the Barber Institute alongside two compositional drawings for the painting from our own collection. Originally exhibited at the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition in April 1879 and recently featuring in Art in the Making: Degas at the National Gallery, (10 November 2004 to 30 January 2005), this startling picture depicts the sensational black acrobat known as la femme canon in the course of her most extravagant act. It reached a climax with her being hoisted slowly to the top of the circus building on a rope, attached only by a bit between her teeth!
This small loan exhibition will set our drawings, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando and The Cirque Fernando – Architectural Study, in as wide a context as possible and explore their crucial role in the genesis of the painting, with its dizzying perspective and highly unconventional viewpoint.