An exhibition of original works by 20th century European master, Marc Chagall; paintings and works on paper 18 October to 25 November at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg and lithographs from the Charles Sorlier collection 19 October to 14 January at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town. Both exhibitions include tapestries made by Yvette Cauquil-Prince.
One of the highest profile shows this year, it has been curated for South AFrica and will not tour. It aims to reveall the diversity of Chagall's work and make it accessible to many who may never get the chance to veiw it in other parts of the world.
The works are on loan from the Musee Nationale d'Art Moderne, Centre George Pompidou, Bella and Meret Meyer, Indivision Ida Chagall, Gallerie Maeght, Fondation Maeght, Stuttgart Staatsgalerie and private collections.
To Chagall love was a constant theme: 'Despite all the troubles of our world, in my heart I have never given up on the love in which I was brought up or on man's hope in love. In life, just as on the artist's palette, there is but one single colour that gives meaning to life and art - the colour of love.'
No artist, with the exception of Van Gogh, would ever blend emotions, memory and history so intensely to create art with such a universal language. Chagall's paintings draw significantly from the Jewish and Slavic culture, from the heart of the remakable and deeply captivating world of the shtetl. They revive this universe through a whirl of images and complicated fantasies but with an apparent simplicity that renders their reading immediately.
His work is a song of exile on paper, which speaks of being wrenched from the motherland, an outlaw's lonliness and an unwavering hope that both soothes and comforts. His stary skies, flying angels, donkeys, goats, cows and other familiar animals thus come to symbolise a lost paradise recreated in the eternal light of painting.*
*Sylvie Forestier, Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice.