WHY THIS SHOW MATTERS: The celebrated modernist master has long been regarded as one of the most respected European artists of his time. Now, thanks to a new exhibition at Wally Findlay Galleries’s Palm Beach location, his artwork and legacy are being appreciated for a different reason. A selection of Marc Chagall’s paintings, ranging from 1942 to 1980, can be seen next to a group of fellow expat Jewish contemporaries he mentored and worked alongside in what has became known as the Jewish School of Paris — an important enclave that developed in the city during the first part of the 20th century of artists with Jewish heritage who came to Paris when it was the epicenter of the art world.
“Chagall and the Circle of Jewish Painters of the 2oth Century” places several of his ethereal circus-themed paintings next to pieces by important contemporaries like Moïse Kisling and Emmanuel Mané-Katz. Kisling’s use of color is an example of the bold fauvist movement of the period, and Mané-Katz’s cubist and expressionist elements show a tendency towards fusing styles — a trait he shared with Chagall.
Chagall experimented across media, delving into painting, sculpture, etching, stage sets, and even stained glass. The time he spent in Paris was his most influential, and the group of Jewish artists he was associated with helped fuel the atmosphere of innovation that has become synonymous with the Jewish School of Paris. The loose collective is also remembered as a place where international Jewish artists thrived and were integral to the history of cubism, fauvism, expressionism, and modernism.