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Wilfrid

Chagall, Malevich, Lissitzky: Jewish Museum

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Very interesting exploration of an episode in post-Revolutionary Russian art which has the latter two teaching under the former at an art school in Vitebsk. Who knew?

 

Billed as something about the Russian “avant garde,” part of the fun of the show is the unbridgeable gulf between romantic, whimsical, humanist Chagall, and the two brutalist suprematists. Anyone ever call Malevich whimsical?

 

Despite his enduring influence on design, Malevich comes off as the disappointing artist here. Some of Lissitzky’s stuff, even the short-sighted agit prop for the new regime, is warm, colorful and passionate.

 

Chagall’s attitude to all this, expressed in cubist and suprematist “citations” in some of the works here, seems thoroughly satirical.

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