Chagall: The Breakthrough Years: 1911-1919
Chagall’s creative breakthrough came at a time when his life was torn between contrasting experiences.
Chagall lived in Paris from 1911 until 1914, creating paintings that combined his recollections of Russian provincial life with iconic fragments of the metropolis around him. Reminiscences of Russian folk art make an appearance in his works from the period, as do the most recent stylistic experiments he was exposed to through his life in the center of the artistic avant-garde and his acquaintance with many of the most progressive artists, including Picasso, Robert and Sonja Delaunay, and Jacques Lipchitz. Overtaken by the outbreak of World War I during a visit back home, Chagall was forced to spend the next eight years in Russia.
The unexpected change of circumstances initially prompted a phase of searching self-scrutiny that speaks from many paintings and works on paper created in and after 1914. The artist produced numerous self-portraits, depictions of Jewish life, and designs for the stage setting for the celebration of the first anniversary of the October Revolution 1918.
The catalogue contains a representative selection of works from what was for Chagall a period of rapid artistic evolution and personal as well as political upheaval.