Marc Chagall: Art and Revolution

Portrait of Chagall by Yehuda (Yuri) Pen, his first art teacher in Vitebsk.

New Exhibit at The Jewish Museum

Diane Cole, in her article Chagall The Revolutionary – Exhibit on his short-lived People’s Art School in Vitebsk suggests a rethinking of his work”, says the following:

“The Russian Jewish artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) made famous the steeples and rooftops of his native Vitebsk, along with the ebullient lovers, fiddlers and peddlers who dreamily floated over them. But for a brief period following the Russian Revolution, he also tried to make his city a hub for revolutionary art, with his newly founded People’s Art School at its center. How that dream played out — inspiring new modes of artistic expression, yet also fueling ideological disputes — is the subject of the new exhibit “Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922,” which opens Sept. 14 at The Jewish Museum.” September 13, 2018

She continues,

“Chagall had envisioned a revolutionary art open to all artistic styles, but at the school there increasingly seemed to be only room for abstraction and the outgrowths of Suprematism. In his painting “Cubist Landscape,” Chagall slyly comments on the arguments between the different factions that had developed within the school, said Nahson. An array of colorful geometrical shapes nearly crowds out the tiny representational image at the center; it depicts the Vitebsk school building, with a single figure of a man walking by, his umbrella open as if to shield himself from a storm.”  September 13, 2018

Read full review: The New York Jewish Week


Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922, which opens this week, runs through Jan. 6, 2019 at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., at 92nd Street,


Diane Cole, Chagall The Revolutionary – Exhibit on his short-lived People’s Art School in Vitebsk suggests a rethinking of his work”, The New York Jewish Week, September 13, 2018, 2:24 pm, (accessed 16 Sept 2018).

Wikipedia contributors, Marc Chagall,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed September 18, 2018).

Image Credit:

Marc Chagall, Cubist Landscape, 1919, oil, tempera, graphite, and plaster on canvas. Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, donation of Ida Chagall, 1984. Artwork © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; image provided by CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York

Yuri (Yehuda) Pen, Portrait of Marc Chagall, 1914, oil on canvas mounted on cardboard. Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus. National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk,  ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks for visiting 🙂

The End

2 Comments Add yours

  1. JMN says:

    I love the Yehuda Pen portrait of Chagall. Canvas mounted on cardboard! I’ll have to try that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it, too. Canvas on cardboard… I wonder if there is an advantage or perhaps there was war time scarcity of materials….(?) Interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

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