Marc Chagall at La Philharmonie de Paris

Marc Chagall at La Philharmonie de Paris – ending soon!

In 2015, we talked about the beautiful new music venue in the 19th district of Paris – La Philharmonie. After hosting the fantastic Bowie exhibition, La Philharmonie has a brand new exhibition about Marc Chagall and all his work related to music.

Marc Chagall, La Danse, 1950-52, huile sur toile de lin. Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, en dépôt au Musée national Marc Chagall, Nice ©ADAGP, Paris, 2015 – CHAGALL ®

Marc Chagall: The Triumph of Music explores the artist’s creations for the stage, the décors and architectural works he was commissioned to produce, all somehow tied to music. The show brings together some three hundred artworks (paintings, drawings, costumes, sculptures and ceramics), with multimedia installations featuring the ceiling of the Paris Opera thanks to extraordinary technology developed by Google Lab, and photographs (for the most part previously unpublished), including those of Marc Chagall’s studio taken by Izis in the 1960s.

Marc Chagall, Costume pour La Flûte enchantée : La Reine de la nuit, 1967, robe en soie artificielle avec applications de tissus violet et bleu. The Metropolitan Opera Archives, New York ©ADAGP, Paris, 2015 – CHAGALL ®

The panels Chagall painted for the Jewish Theatre in Moscow in 1920, conserved at the Tretyakov Gallery, form a universal décor, encompassing the different arts (Music, Dance, Theatre and Literature) in a “total” approach to art, while celebrating Yiddish culture and language through the amalgam of vernacular theatre, music, rhythm, sound and colour. Later, when Chagall fled Europe for the United States, his discovery of the spaciousness and monumental scale of American architecture and landscapes inspired a new direction in the artist’s works for the stage. He created the scenery and costumes for the ballets Aleko in Mexico in 1942 and The Firebird in New York in 1945, rekindling his connection to Russian music. Chagall eventually returned to France, where the Paris Opera commissioned similar work for Daphnis et Chloé in 1958 (1959 for the Paris Opera premiere). His collaboration with the Paris Opera culminated in 1962 when the presiding Minister of Cultural Affairs André Malraux commissioned Chagall to paint the ceiling of the Palais Garnier Opera House. Inaugurated in 1964, this celebrated work – and the artist’s personal musical pantheon – is a stunning tribute to the composers who have marked the history of music. The many previously unreleased sketches for this project retrace the genesis of the creation step by step, and the various stages in the artist’s creative process. In all of Chagall’s work, music is manifested in a remarkable range of resonances which make our time with his art an enchanting experience.

Marc Chagall, Projet pour le rideau de scène de L’Oiseau de feu, 1945, gouache, encre de Chine, pastel, crayons de couleur et papier doré collé sur papier contrecollé sur carton. Collection particulière. ©ADAGP, Paris, 2015 – CHAGALL ®

FUSAC’s opinion : What a gorgeous exhibition! It is probably one of the best I have seen this year (along with the Warhol exhibitions). It may be the winter outside but the dazzling colours used by Chagall make you feel like it’s summer all over again! It’s impossible to be indifferent to the amazing shades of blue, red, yellow or green. At the start of the exhibition, there is a room dedicated to the iconic ceiling of the Opera de Paris. One of my favorite rooms was the one about The Magic Flute. In 1967, a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute opened at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. All the costumes and sets had been reimagined by Marc Chagall. They are incredible! It’s magic to see that with the music by Mozart being played at the same time. Another highlight is the room about The Firebird by Stravinsky with one of my favorite painting by Chagall (see picture). The whole atmosphere is very peaceful and I loved the mix of art with music. Even when it’s busy, it’s very easy to walk around as La Philharmonie has a beautiful space for the exhibition. It’s so well put together – a must see!

La Philharmonie also hosts an educational children’s area to accompany the exhibition. The Little “Chagall’s Box” is a space in which the public can express their creativity and delve into the artist’s dreamlike universe. The Little “Chagall’s Box” offers creative workshops and fun modules for families with children ages 4 to 12. In my opinion, the main exhibition is also suitable for children. I saw quite a few families with little ones and they were all very capitvated by the beautiful colors of the paintings and the music played during the exhibition.

6Practical Information :
Until January 31st 2016.
Exhibition space (Philharmonie 1)
221, avenue Jean-Jaurès
75019 Paris
Line 5, Porte de Pantin station
Full price : 10 euros