DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art
is the co-organizer and sole U.S. venue for Chagall: Beyond Color, an internationally touring exhibition of works by Marc Chagall that will examine the artists relationship with space and volume across more than 140 paintings, costumes, sketches, ceramics, and sculptures. The centerpiece of the exhibition, on view February 17 through May 26, 2013, is a display of costumes designed by Chagall in 1942 for the production of the ballet Aleko, choreographed by Léonide Massine and set to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovskys Piano Trio in A Minor. The ballets première took place in September 1942 in Mexico City, followed by the Ballet Theatre of New York production, and the costumes have not been seen in the U.S. since.
Chagall: Beyond Color offers a new perspective on Marc Chagalls celebrated career, showcasing a diverse range of rarely exhibited works that advance our understanding of the artists use of space, said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. As the only American venue for Chagall: Beyond Color, were especially pleased to present several works that illuminate Chagalls previously underexplored engagement with the artistic traditions of Mexico and the American Southwest.
Chagall was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and is perhaps best known for his expressive use of color. Over the course of his long career, he explored producing his inventive forms in different media, such as ceramics and sculpture. The exhibition examines aspects of his career that are not as well known by retracing the chronology of Chagalls quests, investigations, and discoveries, including the influences on his work from the Mexican, Hopi, and Zuni cultures. Chagall: Beyond Color is organized chronologically by work produced during specific periods of his life, including work with ceramics, sculpture, and collages during the second half of his career, as well as his collaborations with numerous theater and ballet companies, including commissions with the Russian Jewish Theater and the Paris Opera House, and for the ballets Aleko and The Firebird. His use of volume, space, and movement is evident throughout the exhibition.
As we assembled this exhibition, we were surprised to discover several works by Chagall that reference the kachina dolls of Hopi culture and Mexican pre-Columbian pottery, said Olivier Meslay, the DMAs Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and curator of Chagall: Beyond Color. These works contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the impact on Chagalls artistic trajectory of the time that he spent in Mexico City while working on the designs for Aleko.
Born in the small Russian town of Vitebsk on July 7, 1887, Chagall began his artistic training with the Russian painter and costume designer Léon Bakst in St. Petersburg. From 1908, he drew upon a variety of sources, including his Russian-Jewish heritage and the stylistic innovations of cubism, surrealism, and other avant-garde art movements. Chagall never officially joined one of the artistic schools, choosing instead to combine vivid fields of color and surreal imagery in his own expressive manner to introduce his world of lovers, dreams, and religion.