The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Paris Chagall show bewitches with flying horses, brides
"Rooster Man Above Vitebsk" (1925) by Marc Chagall is shown in this handout photo taken on Oct. 15, 2007. The oil painting, on loan from a private collection, is on view at the Musee du Luxembourg, Paris through July 21. Source: Reunion des Musees Nationaux, Paris via Bloomberg.

By: Jorg von Uthmann

PARIS (BLOOMBERG).- Popularity can be a curse. Once Marc Chagall had made his name as one of the most successful artists of the 20th century, he became sentimental and repetitive.

The art critic Robert Hughes dismissed Chagall’s late work as “cloying ethnic kitsch.”

A show at the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris is a welcome opportunity to reassess the legitimacy of his fame.

Wisely, the organizers have limited themselves to the period between 1914, when Chagall had found his own style, and the mid-fifties, when his tendency to plagiarize himself got the better of him.

The sixties are represented only by a few studies for “La Vie,” the enormous canvas he painted for the opening of the Maeght Gallery, his neighbor in St. Paul de Vence.

Chagall (1887-1985) was born in Vitebsk in what is now Belarus. At the time, it belonged to the Pale of Settlement, the area in which the Jews of imperial Russia were allowed to live.

Chagall came from a simple, very pious family. Although he soon left the narrow world of his childhood behind, the shtetl and Orthodox Judaism remained the most important source of his inspiration.

No School
From 1910 to 1914, he lived in Paris and had many friends among the avant-garde. Although it’s easy to detect Cubist, Expressionist and Surrealist influences in his work, he never belonged to any school.

When the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917, Chagall was among the many Jews who welcomed them as liberators. He gladly accepted the job of Commissar of Fine Art in the Vitebsk district.

The rivalry with his colleague Kasimir Malevich and the hostility of other faculty members who disliked Chagall’s “bourgeois individualism” drove him out of town.

In 1923, we find him again in France where he stayed for the rest of his life, except for the years of the German Occupation which he survived in New York.

The show presents the 100 or so oil paintings, water colors, drawings and etchings in more or less chronological order, grouping them around the two world wars, each of which disrupted Chagall’s life.

Limited Leitmotifs
Although the organizers do their best to vary the subjects, Chagall’s obsession with a limited number of leitmotifs is all too obvious.

Brides, rabbis, fiddlers and red animals, preferably flying through the air, pop up again and again.

Perhaps the most surprising among his obsessions is a Christian theme, the Crucifixion. Chagall used it as a symbol for Jewish suffering and the destruction of Vitebsk in World War II.

Several color lithographs in the show illustrate “The Thousand and One Nights.” Although the suggestion originally came from Chagall’s French dealer, Ambroise Vollard, the oriental fairy tales and the artist seemed to be made for each other.

Chagall himself said: “Remember that my painting is not really European. It’s partly oriental.”

Many Parisians haven’t forgiven their government for inviting Chagall to repaint the ceiling of the Opera. For the 500,000 tourists who visit the house every year, it’s the main attraction.

They should complement their visit with this most enjoyable show.

“Chagall, Between War and Peace” runs through July 21.



Today's News

February 27, 2013

Exhibition of paintings, sculptures and installations by Julio Le Parc opens at Palais de Tokyo

Foul-up on Afghan footage brings Tacita Dean back to blackboard in exhibition at Marian Goodman

The "Secret of Life' letter, written by DNA co-discoverer, to be sold at Christie's on April 10

"At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston" opens at Metropolitan Museum

From a unique Gentileschi to a rediscovered Reynolds, the Weiss Gallery at TEFAF Maastricht

Oil heirs discover old vases are million dollar czarist relics to be sold by the Dallas Auction Gallery

Australian tycoon Clive Palmer unveils plan for new Titanic, plans to launch in 2016

Philadelphia Museum of Art appoints Dirk H. Breiding The J.J. Medveckis Associate Curator of Arms and Armor

The Question of Classicism: Jeu de Paume exhibits photographs by Laure Albin Guillot

Antique advertising and general store antiques line up for Morphy's March 30 auction

Color Rush at the Milwaukee Art Museum exposes color in American photography

Largest number of full armours to be offered at a London auction in a century

More than 30 international artists and collectives of the 5th Auckland Triennial announced

"Scratching the Surface: Contemporary Wood Sculpture" opens at The Craft and Folk Art Museum

Paris Chagall show bewitches with flying horses, brides

Solo exhibition by Syrian artist, Mohannad Orabi opens at Ayyam Gallery Jeddah

Spectacular sculptures by Contemporary Cambodian artist go on view at Met Museum

Roland Hick's lates works on view at Eleven in London

Art Show shake-up near Armory

Artsy raises $5 million as EarthLink founder Sky Dayton joins

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site