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Chagall Exhibition at Tate Liverpool

It seemed a pity to be indoors on the fine autumn day that marked our visit to Tate Liverpool. However, an excellent talk by a member of the gallery staff, more than made up for any regrets about being inside on such a bright day.

The talk took us chronologically through the work in the exhibition. It prepared us for pieces showing Chagall’s emergence as an artist in his impoverished home in Vitebsk, training in St Petersburg and years of artistic freedom in Paris prior to the First World War. As a result, when we looked at the paintings we could pick out and identify the enduring influence that his Hassidic background had on Chagall throughout his long and productive working life.

While developing and maintaining what was clearly his own visual language we could see Chagall’s awareness of the work of contemporary Modernist artists. The brilliant colours of Fauvism, geometric forms of Cubism and Surrealist imagery combined and were evident in many of the paintings in the exhibition.

Chagall’s artistic genius lay in his ability to embrace all these influences, add them to his rich cultural heritage and produce work in a range of media in his own unique style. 

Sheila Pemberton