The art of Chagall comes to Brazil with a message of love and hope
By Maria Angelica Troncoso
Rio de Janeiro, Mar 15 (EFE).- The fantastic world of Marc Chagall (1887-1985) starting Wednesday will come to Brazil with a selection of his art loaded with love, dreams and hope, an exhibition that reflects how he opted to portray the joy of life, despite the adversity that dogged him.
Chagall, born in what is now Belarus, but who lived most of his life in France, experienced the horror of two world wars, had to leave his native land, as a Jew was the victim of Nazi propaganda and prematurely lost the wife that he loved so much. Nevertheless, it was joy and optimism that he portrayed in his artworks, which abound in color and enthusiasm.
A portion of that playful world can be seen in his “Dream of Love,” an exhibition with more than 180 of Chagall’s creative works – including paintings, watercolors, lithographs and prints – which will be on display to the public at the Banco de Brasil’s Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro and which will later move to Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo.
Born in the little city of Vitebsk, then in the Russian empire, Chagall had a calm childhood but his life was marked by the wars and the exiles to which he had to accommodate himself and which finally led him to settle in France, where he became a citizen at age 50.
At the present time, when Eastern Europe is experiencing fear, blood and desolation amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chagall’s work has a special quality because it’s a type of ode to hope amid the nightmare through which that part of the planet is going passing.
“His life was not easy, but he always kept a message of hope and joy. So, I believe that Chagall’s message still prevails at present,” Spain’s Lola Duran Ucar, the curator of the exhibit, told EFE.
“During this period we’re going through, after the pandemic and with the unstable political situation and the war, art – especially Chagall’s art – can be a palliative against so much pain and against so much injustice,” she added.
The exposition includes 186 works created by the artist between 1922 and 1982, all of which belong to private collections abroad or are among the holdings of Brazilian museums.
In them, one can see the themes that most concerned the artist including his childhood, the support provided by his religious beliefs, his love of literature and the special love he had for Paris, the city that took him in.
However, color and life stand out in the works that inspired his wife Bella, who – although she died at age 40 – was his beloved companion and who helped him to overcome a large portion of the obstacles that he was forced to face.
Although in Paris he was a firsthand witness to vanguard movements and in his work one can see the influence of Cubism, surrealism and Fauvism, Chagall never depicted himself in any of his creations since – as Duran Ucar said – “his desire for freedom led him to create a unique and personal universe.”
But perhaps the words of Chagall himself best sum up the sense of his work: “In life, as on the artist’s palette, there is only one color that gives meaning to life and art: the color of love.”