PRLog (Press Release) - Oct. 4, 2012 - From his beginnings as an artist, Marc Chagall (1887-1985) questioned the relationship to volume. His paintings with indications of future cubism thus featured riveted puppets or facetted sculptures as characters. The Roubaix and Dallas exhibition take this new perspective on Chagall’s works as a starting point and follows the idea of form throughout Chagall’s career although he is traditionally considered to be a composer of two dimensional pieces.
Beginning with Double portrait with wine glass (1917), the well-known work from the National Museum of Modern Art, this paradoxical reading takes the visitor to the fabulous collages that Chagall developed in the last months of his long life. Throughout the visit, Chagall’s contributions to the show world are highlighted starting with his work at the Jewish Theater in the early 1920’s, and Chagall revealed himself to be an extraordinary master of space and a virtuoso of form. Among these experiences, his work in Mexico in 1942, on the “Aleko” ballet – Chagall created costumes and sets - was decisive in introducing a new approach to monumental art which was pursued in the following decades with the creation of other stage works. Several original costumes for this ballet production which are rarely presented will be central to the exhibition as a powerful link between project sketches and volumes, painting and sculpture, color and form.
This Mexican stay, during his years of exile in America, brought on by the Vichy government’s anti-Semitic laws, was, without a doubt, important in the artist's passage from the 2-dimensional surface of canvas or paper to sculpture’s three dimensions. The reference in his work to Gauguin and to pre-Colombian ceramic design came together in his work in clay, in Vallauris, when he returned to France. At the same period, his work in stone, which recreated the images characteristic to Chagall's world, posed specific questions relative to the position of the work in relationship to time and space while retaining its strong emotional reference to one's chosen land.
With over 200 works on loan by large public and private collections, the exhibition presents paintings, drawings, costumes, ceramics, sculptures and collages which cover Chagall’s entire career. The exhibition is an integral part of La Piscine’s programming which is now regularly dedicated to 20th century sculpture.
A first co-production between the Roubaix and Dallas museums, a fully illustrated catalogue was published by Gallimard which assembles original contributions by David McNeil, Itzhak Goldberg, Sylvie Forestier, Bella Meyer, Meret Meyer and Bruno Gaudichon. (approximately 250 pages, 250 illustrations, 230 x 287 cm, retail price: 39 Euros).
Exhibition curators: Meret Meyer
Olivier Meslay, Dallas Museum of Art, USA
Bruno Gaudichon, Musée La Piscine, Roubaix
In Roubaix, the exhibition “Marc Chagall Beyond Color” is a part of the Lille 3000 Fantastic programming. Undertaken by the City of Roubaix, the exhibition is supported by the Greater Lille Metropolitan Area Council and the significant patronage of the CIC Nord Ouest.