by Susan Tumarkin Goodman with an essay by Kenneth E. Silver
Marc Chagall (1887–1985), one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century, created his unique style by blending richly colored folk art with Cubism, Surrealism and imagery drawn from the Russian Christian icon tradition. This book explores a significant but neglected period in the artist’s career, from the rise of fascism in the 1930s through the end of World War II, which he spent in Paris and then in exile in New York. Chagall’s paintings from this time express the horror of the Holocaust as well as hope for the survival of his people and belief in the ultimate triumph of love.
Works use many of Chagall’s familiar figures—the Artist, the Bride, the Clown, the Wandering Jew—set in unexpected, often wrenching scenes. These contrast with lavish flower paintings that reflect the artist’s adoration of his wife, Bella. Less well known are Chagall’s canvases showing the Crucifixion of Jesus, often depicted as a Jew, and his rarely seen, dreamlike poems, eleven of which are published here. Susan Tumarkin Goodman and Kenneth E. Silver analyze Chagall’s complex iconography and phantasmagorical style, tracing his Jewish, Christian, autobiographical, French and Russian sources.
Susan Tumarkin Goodman is senior curator at The Jewish Museum. Kenneth E. Silver is professor of art history at New York University. Art © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS) / New York / ADAGP, Paris / Chagall®