With more than 100 haunting works the exhibition traces Chagall's search for a pictorial language in the face of expulsion and persecution

CHAGALL. WOLRD IN TURMOIL

12 FEBRUARY – 30 MAY 2021

Marc Chagall is regarded as the poet among the artists of modernism. In a major exhibition, the SCHIRN sheds light on a so far little-known side of his oeuvre: Chagall’s works of the 1930s and 1940s, in which the artist’s colorful palette becomes darker. The life and work of the Jewish painter were profoundly affected by the art policies of the National Socialists and the Holocaust. By the early 1930s, Chagall’s works were already examining the increasingly aggressive anti-Semitism in Europe, and he finally emigrated to the United States in 1941. During these years, his art works touch on central themes such as identity, homeland, and exile.

With more than 100 haunting paintings, works on paper, photos, and documents, the exhibition traces the artist’s search for a pictorial language in the face of expulsion and persecution. It presents important works from the 1930s, in which Chagall focused more and more on the Jewish world, numerous self-portraits, his orientation toward allegorical and Biblical themes, and the important designs in exile for the ballets "Aleko" (1942) and "The Firebird" (1945). The exhibition also addresses the artist’s recurring preoccupation with his hometown, Vitebsk, and main works such as "The Falling Angel" (1923/1933/1947). Altogether, the SCHIRN will provide a new and highly relevant view of the oeuvre of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.