i was brought up reading about artists, looking at their art in books. we didn’t have the money or the location to go to museums and such, but i remember my father showing me pictures of Rembrandts paintings when i was just a wee lad.
one artist i discovered on my own as an adult was Marc Chagall. i was blown away by his compositions and color-schemes. and his mixture of exuberant joy and contemplative melancholy.
“Chagall’s relationship to the Surrealists was torn, whatever their theoretician-in-chief might say. Long before them, impelled by the elemental power of his homeland’s folk art, he had discovered the significance of dreams, visions and the nonrational for his own work.” (from History of Art)
Solitude – 1933-1934
“In ‘Solitude’, Chagall was still using motifs that were very much his own to indicate dangers that were menacing himself, his people, and all of Europe.” (from History of Art)
most of all i was fascinated by the love with which he portrayed his own people. his paintings, to my eye and mind are extremely honest and spiritual.
The Wedding – 1944
there’s 30 years between the two paintings – and two wars as well, yet it is hard not to FEEL Chagall’s fierce understanding of not just what makes his people tick, but what sustains them under threat.