Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marc Chagall at the AGO

While visiting Toronto, an afternoon trip was made to the AGO to peruse the Chagall and Russian Avant Garde exhibit. Prior to visiting, I knew close to nothing about Marc Chagall except that he was a rather renowned artist who lived in France for the better part of his life. I left the exhibit knowing much more in regards to Chagall, but also understanding what his motivations were, and who he was as an artist.

The Exhibit provided a nice mix of Russian artists inspired, much like Chagall was, by their homeland and their culture. Chagall specifically drew upon his love of his town or shtetl of Vitebsk, located in present day Belarus. His admiration and dreamy outlook on life in his shtetl is all Chagall needed to inspire beautifully constructed artwork. He painted through a lens of an Eastern European Jew, showcasing his culture and everyday life which he was used to as a child and a teenager. The exhibit did a good job of displaying video art, and sculptures among the paintings, providing a variety of mediums in which artists of that period expressed themselves.

It was fascinating the way in which the "Russian Avant Garde" artists were able to draw upon their past, and their homes, to inspire their works. This inspiration is something that everyone can relate to; having a special location within our memories, influencing our everyday lives.



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