Park West Gallery Presents Collection of Artist Marc Chagall

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Chagall was greatly influenced by Hasidic mysticism and used motifs taken from Jewish and Russian folk art he was exposed to in his upbringing. Using vivid colors and the language of symbols he developed as part of his "Chagallian" universe, the artist communicates happiness and optimism through themes of music and nature.

Park West Gallery Artist Biography series now brings you the masterpieces of the poet-painter of the twentieth century, Marc Chagall. "In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love." Though he was born an impoverished and unregarded Jew, upon his death in 1985 Chagall was honored by a burial in a Catholic cemetery, regarded by the French as one of their own and embraced by the world as one of the most influential artists of all time.

Chagall was greatly influenced by Hasidic mysticism and used motifs taken from Jewish and Russian folk art he was exposed to in his upbringing. Using vivid colors and the language of symbols he developed as part of his "Chagallian" universe, the artist communicates happiness and optimism through themes of music and nature. "Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration."

Born as Moyshe Segal in Vitebsk, Russia in 1887, Chagall was the eldest of nine children and despite his mother's urging him to pursue accounting he enrolled at Yehuda Pen's School of Painting and Design. In 1905 he moved to St. Petersburg and later entered the Zvantseva School, where Chagall studied under one of the leaders of the Symbolist art movement, Leon Bakst. In 1910 he moved to Paris and then to "La Rouche" in 1912.

Chagall married his first wife, Bella, in 1915 and his daughter, Ida, was born in 1916. The Revolution which began in 1917 brought the emancipation of Jews in Russia and compelled Chagall to relocate to Moscow where he ran his Academy of Art until 1920. As his surroundings deteriorated, he left Russia for good and moved to Berlin. Soon after, Chagall returned to Paris and by 1927 was one of the leading painters of Ecole de Paris. Nine months after Bella's death in 1944 and due to the escalating danger for Jews in France, Chagall found sanctuary in the United States. He would return to France in 1948 and marry his second wife, Valentina Brodsky, in 1952.

In 1977 Chagall received France's highest public honor, The Grand Cross of the Legion d'Honneur. Retrospectives were held during Chagall's lifetime at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris. Commissions include the series of etchings Chagall produced for Ambrose Vollard, "Gogol's Dead Souls," which was followed by "Fables of La Fontaine," "Le Cirque," his masterpiece in lithography, and "The Bible Series."

Chagall's artwork continues to adorn the collections of prestigious museums worldwide and can be seen in a variety of locations including; the Chase Tower Plaza, Chicago, IL; the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, NY; the cathedral of Metz, France; Notre-Dame de Reims, France; the Fraumünster abbey, Zurich, Switzerland; the Church of St. Stephen, Mainz, Germany; the Biblical Message museum, Nice, France; the church of Tudeley, Kent, England; and the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel.

"Great art picks up where nature ends. When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it - a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand - as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there's a clash between the two, it's bad art."

Park West Gallery of Michigan founded in 1969 are America's largest art dealer, selling more individual artworks than any other art dealer in the United States. Since 1980, the company has occupied its own 63,000 sq ft art gallery and in 2002, Park West built a 181,000 sq ft distribution center and gallery in Miami Lakes, Florida. Park West Gallery conducts auctions across North America in fine hotels and maintains an active catalog and internet sales business. Park West Gallery is also the largest art dealer conducting auctions at sea and currently conducts auctions on more than 60 ships for the following cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Lines; Celebrity Cruises Inc.; Disney Cruise Line; Holland America Line; Radisson Seven Seas Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Windstar Cruises. In addition to Chagall, discover the Park West Gallery Biography of artist Albrecht Durer.

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Morris Shapiro
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