7 June –29 September 2013
£13.50/£10.00 (Gift Aid with donation)
Marc Chagall (1887–1985) is one of the best known and most beloved artists of the last century. This important exhibition will be the first major presentation of the Russian painter’s work in the UK for over fifteen years. Bringing together some sixty paintings and a selection of works on paper from across the world, Chagall: Modern Master takes a fresh look at this compelling artist who created some of the most poetic and enduring images of the twentieth century.
Chagall’s paintings of Russian village life, floating figures, flying cows and roosters are instantly familiar, yet he remains one of the least understood artists of his generation. Chagall promoted an image of himself as a loner and intuitive genius, when in reality he was a complex individual who was acutely aware of the latest avant-garde artistic developments which he absorbed and adapted for his own purposes. The exhibition will demonstrate the shift in emphasis from the ‘naïve’ folkloristic narratives in his early work, towards an understanding of how he combined Fauve, Cubist, Expressionist and Suprematist styles while articulating his native Jewish Russian culture.
Chagall: Modern Master will focus on the artist’s time in Paris before the first world war, his visit to Berlin and his exhibition there in 1914, and the years he spent in his native Russia around the time of the Revolution in 1917. Chagall’s experiences during this period reinforced his highly personal visual language. The universal, timeless themes of these early works – such as love, suffering and death – alongside self-portraits and depictions of the circus, music and peasants, recurred and formed the core of his art for the remainder of his long career.
The works in the exhibition will be presented in a broadly chronological order. Thematic groupings of artworks will chart Chagall’s encounter with avant-garde artistic movements and highlight how he combined these new pictorial languages with his own imaginative motifs to create some of the most innovative and expressive works of art in history.
Chagall: Modern Master is organised by Kunsthaus Zürich (8 February –12 May 2013) in collaboration with Tate Liverpool. The exhibition at Tate Liverpool is curated by Simonetta Fraquelli, an independent curator, with Gavin Delahunty, Head of Exhibitions and Displays, Tate Liverpool.