Tuesday, July 7, 2009


"When Matisse dies," Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, "Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is."

chagall was the other painter that captured my imagination in mr manning's art class at workman jr high. like klee, his colors are hypnotic & the pictures seem to capture a kind of dream-like quality that i didn't get in klee. w/klee, there was the child-like; w chagall, there's the dreamwork of an adult. he was a belarusian jew, which may explain why so many of his canvases are filled w/various images: several significant identities working in a single subject. furthermore, the influences of cubism, surrealism, & fauvism all seem at work too, a mixed bag of singular vision. "By the time he died in France in 1985 - the last surviving master of European modernism, outliving Joan Miró by two years - he had experienced at first hand the high hopes and crushing disappointments of the Russian revolution, and had witnessed the end of the Pale, the near annihilation of European Jewry, and the obliteration of Vitebsk, his home town, where only 118 of a population of 240,000 survived the Second World War."

i had no idea he worked in stained glass but again his colors win out.

1 comment:

gymnopedies13 said...

I used to take out books of Chagall paintings from the library as a child; mom thought I was nuts. It's still the colors that get me - I don't think any artist knew more about color.