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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

CHAGALL EXHIBITION (article first published : 2000-10-3)

Marc Chagall, La Lumiere des Origines is an exhibition of original paintings, works on paper, lithographs, tapestries, produced by this legendary French artist during the period from 1949 to his death in 1985.

The exhibition has been designed purely for a showing in South Africa and will run concurrently in Johannesburg and Cape Town in October. “It is, in my view, the most important exhibition ever held on the African continent” says His Excellency Mr Tristan D’Albis, Ambassador of France. “It is by far he largest and, probably, the most beautiful show ever seen in South Africa, with original works from a twentieth century European master.”

The exhibition is a joint initiative between the Standard Bank Gallery, the South African National Gallery, the French Institute of South Africa and the French Embassy.

It is one of the highest profile exhibitions to be seen around the world this year. “South Africa is now making a come back onto the map of international exhibitions, next to New York, Tokyo and, of course, Paris,” adds Mr D’Albis. “We welcome and celebrate the country’s return to the international cultural circuit.

“Chagall’s paintings draw significantly form the Jewish and Slavic culture, from the heart of the remarkable and deeply captivating world of the shtetl” says Sylive Forestier, former honorary director of the Marc Chagall National Museum and general curator of the National French Museums. “They revive this universe through a whirl of images and complicated fantasies but with an apparent simplicity that renders their reading immediate. His work remains close to the heart and perspective of man, delving into the world of original innocence that is present in each one of us.

“A world inhabited by floating figures of the father, mother, brothers and sisters, of the betrothed, lover and wife, all so tenderly loved. His work is a song of exile on paper, which speaks of being wrenched from the motherland, an outlaw’s loneliness and an unwavering hope that both soothes and comforts. His starry skies, flying angels, donkey, goats, cows and other familiar animals thus come to symbolize a lost paradise recreated in the eternal light of painting.”




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