Monday, January 31, 2011
Marc Chagall - "THE CIRCUS WITH THE ANGEL"
"When Matisse dies", Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, "Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is."
Marc Chagall was an incredibly prolific Belarusian French artist using a wide spectrum of media including tapestry, stained glass,theater sets and costumes, ceramic and sculpture as well as.... paint.
He produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, The United Nations, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He also did large-scale murals, including the ceiling for the Paris Opéra and the NY Metropolitan Opera.
Chagall biographer Jackie Wullschlager calls Chagall a "pioneer of modern art and one of its greatest figurative painters... [who] invented a visual language that recorded the thrill and terror of the twentieth century. On his canvases we read the triumph of modernism, the breakthrough in art to an expression of inner life that ... is one of the last century's legacies. At the same time Chagall was personally swept up in the horrors of European history between 1914 and 1945: world wars, revolution, ethnic persecution, the murder and exile of millions. In an age when many major artists fled reality for abstraction, he distilled his experiences of suffering and tragedy into images at once immediate, simple, and symbolic to which everyone could respond.”
Art critics Walther and Metzger say “His life and art together added up to this image of a lonesome visionary, a citizen of the world with much of the child still in him, a stranger lost in wonder — an image which the artist did everything to cultivate. Profoundly religious and with a deep love of the homeland, his work is arguably the most urgent appeal for tolerance and respect of all that is different that modern times could make.”
Chagall describes his love of circus people:
Why am I so touched by their makeup and grimaces? With them I can move toward new horizons... Chaplin seeks to do in film what I am trying to do in my paintings. He is perhaps the only artist today I could get along with without having to say a single word.”