Modern Master, or not?
A new show “Chagall Modern Master” opens at the Tate Liverpool tomorrow. The press have taken a marked dislike to the title and the show’s premise: “There’s no doubt that Chagall is popular. You could argue that his work has given more pleasure to more people than almost any other 20th-century artist. But in the final analysis, did he really contribute anything of significance to the history of 20th-century art?” Richard Dorment’s analysis is in the Telegraph:
And Jonathan Jones in the Guardian: “Like the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, he is a memorialist of traditions, a witness to what has been lost. Underneath the beauty of his dreamlike visions, such as ‘Over Vitebsk' (1922), lies the terrible truth of a history crushed and erased. Chagall was happy to use the new tools of modern art, but what he did with them was keep the old world alive. The Marxist (sic) Walter Benjamin said the angel of history is being pulled forward by events but “his face is turned towards the past”. That melancholy angel is Chagall’s muse.”
(Vitebsk, Belarus, 1887 - 1985, Saint Paul de Vence, France)
Paris Through the Window (Paris par la fenêtre), 1913.
Oil on canvas, 53 9/16 × 55 7/8 inches (136 × 141.9 cm).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York,
Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift, 37.438.
© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
Via Guggenheim NY