|Chagall Over The Town|
This introductory quote opens the exhibition, CHAGALL, LISSITZKY, MALEVICH, The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922, at The Jewish Museum, through January 6, 2019. It is the first major exhibition to explore a little known chapter in the history of modernity and the Russian avant-garde: Chagall's encounter with the leading figures of abstraction, EL (Lazar) Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich, at the time of the Russian Revolution. The exhibition focuses on the People's Art School, founded by Marc Chagall in his native city of Vitebsk (in present day Belarus). He was soon joined by Lissitzky and Malevich along with other teachers and students, many of them Jewish, including Lazar Khidekel and David Yakerson.
|El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites with Red Wedge|
Through nearly 160 works and documents loaned by museums in Vitebsk and Minsk, and major American and European collections, the exhibition reveals how the three major figures sought, each in his distinctive fashion, to develop a leftist art in tune with the new revolutionary emphasis on collectivism, education and innovation. Chagall remained faithful to a figurative and allegorical style, in contrast to Malevich, whose recent invention, Suprematism, offered a radical view of geometric abstraction. Lissitzky, a trained architect, applied the concepts of Suprematism to his innovative geometric compositions that he called, " a transfer station on the way from painting to architecture."
|Kazmir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism|
CHAGALL'S 100th Anniversary: The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Chagall's appointment as Commissar of Arts for the Vitebsk region, a position the enabled him to carry out his idea of creating a revolutionary art school in his city, open to everyone, free of charge, and with no age restrictions. The People's Art School was he perfect embodiment of Bolshevik values, and was approved in August 1918. A month later, Chagall was appointed Commissar of Arts. El Lissitsky and Kazimir Malevich, leading exponents of the Russian avant-garde, were the two of the artists invited to teach at the school. Each of these major figures sought, in his own distinctive fashion, to develop a "Leftist Art" in tune with the revolutionary emphasis on collectivism, education and innovation.
In ensuring years, Chagall's dream was to develop a revolutionary art independent of style or dogma, but this came to an end in the spring of 1920. He decided to leave Vitebsk in June and went to work for the Jewish theater in Moscow. A number of designs he produced for the theater are also on view.
PUBLIC PROGRAMS: In conjunction with the exhibition, the Jewish Museum presents a series of public and family programs featuring speakers such as Marc Chagall's granddaughter Bella Meyer December 6 and noted architect Daniel Libeskind on December 13, and a family day on October 21. Visit: TheJewishMuseum.org or call 212.423.3200. Located 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! This breathtaking leap into modernism at revolutionary times is worthy of a trio uptown. Fan mail welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the links to Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Just click in the left hand column to the Blog that resonates with your interest.