Marc Chagall has, throughout his life, maintained a strong relationship with the written word.
From Yiddish manuscripts to illustrations for books, his work develops through the words, the rhythm of the narrative and the printed page, giving rise to numerous editorial collaborations. Among these, famous illustrated books such as Les Âmes mortes de Nicolas Gogol (1923-1927) and Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine (1926-1928) or La Bible (1930-1956) but also numerous publications in art magazines.
This editorial genre, perhaps less familiar to the general public, nevertheless underwent considerable development in the 20th century.
Mirroring the intellectual and creative ferment of the avant-garde, these magazines were the first tool for disseminating artistic innovations. Led by publishers, sometimes commercial, demanding and passionate, who commissioned texts from the greatest authors and illustrations - photographic or lithographic - from the greatest artists, art magazines gradually became real places of creation, dialogue and crossover between text and image.
From the 1920s onwards and for several decades, Marc Chagall's collaborations with French and international art magazines multiplied, testifying to his interest in this medium. The exhibition explores the singularity of each of these human, editorial and committed adventures.
From 1914, Chagall's work appeared in the German magazine Der Sturm, then the artist collaborated between 1923 and 1924 with the Yiddish magazines Shtrom and Khaliastra. His participation in the Cahiers d'art and Verve, published by Tériade, through drawings for the covers and illustrations, gave a visual identity to these magazines and positioned the artist in the Parisian artistic circles of the inter-war period.
During his exile in the United States, he took part in the surrealist magazine VVV in 1942, published from New York by André Breton, a militant act and affirmation of the existence of a utopian community of artists finding themselves in the individual experience of exile. On his return to France at the end of 1947, he worked with Aimé Maeght, committing himself at her side to give substance for more than 20 years to the magazine Derrière le miroir.
The exhibition traces the link between Marc Chagall and art magazines, exploring the nature of his graphic and literary contributions. It is a unique opportunity to discover original works related to the illustrations in the magazines and completely unpublished documents, partly from the artist's personal archives (original magazines, essays, letters).
This exhibition is organized by the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais and the national Museums of the 20th century in the Alpes-Maritimes. It will result in the publication of a catalog.
Anne Dopffer, General Curator of Heritage, Director of the Alpes-Maritimes National Museums of the 20th century
Jean-Baptiste Delorme, Curator of the Marc Chagall National Museum, Nice
Ambre Gauthier, Associate Curator, PhD in Art History
Caption: Marc Chagall, Revue Derrière le miroir n°235 (published in October 1979). Private collection © ADAGP, Paris, 2020.
Open daily except on Tuesdays, December 25th and January 1st.
From May 2nd to October 31st : from 10 am to 6 pm
From November 1st to April 30th : from 10 am to 5 pm
Including access to the permanent collection, temporary exhibition and multilingual audioguide.
Exhibition full rate : € 10
Exhibition reduced rate : € 8
Groups rate (min.10 people) : € 6,50
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