From black and white to colour
Discover an exhibition that sheds light on an unexplored dimension of Marc Chagall, who was celebrated as a master of colour by the artists and critics of his day. The exhibition, which is devoted to the last part of the artist’s career, highlights his change of style and reveals each stage in the artist’s creative process, from 1948 until his death in 1985.
More than 100 works (paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, washes, gouaches, and collages) reflect Chagall’s artistic exploration of black and white and his subsequent mastery of particularly luminous, intense, and profound tints.
A renewed and unique approach to working with colour
In Chagall’s work, the dialogue between black and white and colour began in the 1920s, when he discovered the techniques of engraving in Berlin. In the 1920s and 1930s, Ambroise Vollard commissioned him to illustrate Fables de La Fontaine and the Bible. The artist captured the range of colours in the landscapes of the Auvergne and Palestine, and then mastered the density and various shades of black.
When he returned to France at the end of 1947, after his exile in America, Chagall’s oeuvre was enriched by the commissions executed for the theatre in Mexico and New York, which infused his plastic and monumental oeuvre with a new dimension. Ever in tune with the times, Chagall adopted a bold artistic approach, in which the study of volume led him to explore the world of light, shade, materials, and the transparency of black and white. The study of the chromatic and luminous subtleties of black and white resulted in the use of intense and bright colours that gave his pictorial oeuvre a completely new dimension.
A range of thechniques used in his work
In a wide range of works—China ink washes, sculptures in white marble, plaster, and bronze, and ceramics—Chagall’s visual world evolved towards a highly colourful palette. All the materials used by the artist will enable the visitor to rediscover the world of the painter, draughtsman, sculptor, ceramist, and engraver through his exploration of colour, and, more specifically, black and white.
Ambre Gauthier holds a doctorate in art history and has been responsible for research at the Comité Marc Chagall in Paris since 2011; she helps compiling the catalogue raisonné and valorisation of the artist’s archives. She was entrusted with the curatorship of the exhibition ‘Marc Chagall, Le Triomphe de la Musique’ at the Cité de la Musique/ Philharmonie in Paris, ‘Chagall et la musique’ at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ‘Marc Chagall, the Third Dimension’ at the Tokyo Station Gallery in Japan, and the exhibition ‘Marc Chagall, Couleur et Lumière dans le Sud de la France’ at the Macau Museum of Modern Art in China.
Meret Meyer has curated various Marc Chagall exhibitions: she was co-curator of the monographic exhibitions ‘Marc Chagall, un maestro del’900’ at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM) in Turin in 2004, ‘Chagall delle meraviglie’ at the Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome in 2007, ‘Chagall e il Mediterraneo’ at the Palazzo Blu in Pisa in 2009, and ‘Marc Chagall, una retrospettiva 1908-1985’ at the Palazzo Reale in Milan in 2014 and at the Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels in 2015; she was also part of the scientific curatorship of the exhibition ‘Chagall et la Musique’ at the Philharmonie de Paris, at La Piscine in Roubaix, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and at the Los Angeles County Museum in Los Angeles. Since 1997, she has been Vice-President of the Comité Marc Chagall. Since 2006, she has sat on the Board of Administrators of the ADAGP (Head Office of Artists Right Societies), was a member of the ADAGP’s Cultural Initiatives Committee. Over the last 24 years, she is Vice-President of the Association des Amis du Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice. Since March 2018, she has been a member of the Acquisition Committee of the Musée d’Art Moderne in the Moderne-Centre Georges Pompidou.
Realisation and production
Agnès Wolff, Head of cultural programming and exhibitions of Culturespaces, Cecilia Braschi, Exhibition manager at the Hôtel de Caumont, Sophie Blanc, Régisseur at the Hôtel de Caumont and Livia Lérès, Responsible for iconography at Culturespaces.
Éric Morin is an architect-scenographer. He is a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes. As a plastician and architect, he has specialised in the field of museography and the scenography of cultural exhibitions for around twenty years. In each project, he creates a link between the museographic content and the architectural characteristics of the exhibition areas. He has focused on various fields during the realisation of his projects: architectural heritage, social and historical subjects, and ancient, modern, and contemporary art.