Monday, January 14, 2013

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall is a Russian Jewish multi-media artist. During the early 1900s in Russia a Jewish artist had two options: they could deny all connection to their Jewish roots or they could publicly cherish and express their heritage.  Chagall chose the latter and for that reason has been regarded as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century." You can see the influence of his childhood village,Vitebsk through out his work during his whole life time.  His fiddlers, wooden houses, mists of color, and floating lovers-his paintings carry such vivid emotion. "When Matisse dies," Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, "Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is."- What a beautiful statement!

 An equally beautiful quote I found  is from one of his obituaries:
 "A curly-haired man with sparkling eyes and an incandescent smile, Chagall was a survivor. When he died at 97 in 1985, he’d outlived Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Leger and other Modernists active during the first half of the 20th century.  He also outlived the American abstractionists Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, and Morris Louis, who rose to prominence in the century’s second half. Like both groups of artists, he loved combining expressive colors with fragmented and/or forceful shapes. But unlike them, he peppered his work with religious, specifically Jewish, themes. In a career that spanned eight decades, he defied Judaism’s taboo and created graven yet glorious images." Obit