The exhibit “Chagall: Colour and Music” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most stunning, well-curated special exhibits of an single-artist retrospective that I’ve seen yet there has been very little English-language coverage, which is why I decided to write this blog post. (The Montreal Gazette has a very nice English review but I have not seen many others)
Chagall has been a huge inspiration to me, because I also love using saturated color in my own paintings, and many of his works have surreal components that remind me of some of the crazy dreams I have.
The exhibit includes 400 works of varied art forms, a quarter of which came from private collectors. This is one of the nice things about special exhibits because you can see artwork that you would otherwise have no access to because they are privately owned. It includes not only paintings, but also drawings, sculptures, some stained-glass, and a myriad of costumes and sets he designed for the stage.
The violin, a re-occurring subject in Chagall’s work, reflects Chagall’s Jewish roots, but you can also see how music influenced Chagall in many other ways, including collaborations with the opera and ballet.
There were a couple of works that were digital replications– the ceiling of the Paris Opera was projected onto a large circular display, which was very cool in its own way. There is also a room that has panels from the Moscow Yiddish Chamber Theater, which are just large digital prints.