The exhibition “Magic Gravity”, displayed at the COD (Center for Openness and Dialogue), brings for the first time in Albania 180 works (engravings and graphics) of one of the greatest 20th century artists Marc Chagall. The exhibition, which is open to the public from 19th of October 2018 until 12th of January 2019, was curated by Vladimir Myrtezaj and Genti Gjikola. Generally, Chagall invites to a childish world from which, apparently, he never left. His naive art proves his pure and untampered world. And precisely because of the perseverance of not being elaborated by readily available techniques, he was able to create a genius through which the generations of artists to come and art worshipers would be illuminated.
Earthly rules and especially those social ones do not apply to Chagall. The Gravity Law does not affect his imaginations. Everything flutters in the air. Earthly and aquatic creatures coexist so naturally in the artist’s work. There is also harmony between the sexes in the human space too, so often present in the work. The lovers and the angels wander in the same way. A world between a dream and a fairy tale where sounds and colors dance in a surreal environment, where logic is ignored by only embracing the feeling, the artist seeks a peaceful world, away from human wickedness and social mediocrity, the traits he encountered most, along the path of a tiring struggle in the world of art and world-wide recognition.
The presence of the Bible is another indication of his mystical, inexplicable but magical world. According to him, despite all obstacles, the universe is governed by love. Everything. Up to the most negligible particle. This also applies to the field in which he gave in more passionately than in any other direction in art, expressly saying, “In the arts, as in life, everything is possible provided it is based on love.”
Painting was the first and last dream of the artist but he also chose other ways through which he expressed his genius, such as graphics, ceramics and drawing; vitrage, mosaic, loom, monumental sculptures and scenography. The three renowned cycles for book illustrations are: Gogol’s “Dead Souls”, Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Fables” of La Fonten, they are an integral part of the exhibition in question and are presented through the techniques of lithography, zincography and akuaforthe.
In the engravings for Gogol’s “Dead Souls” novel, the events are presented with wisdom, sensuality and elegance; and, of course, irony is not lacking either. They are one of the masterpieces of modern art in engraving. The engraved series for the illustration of the fabulous “Fables” of La Fonten, reflect the dreamiest world of the myth and the ancient legend, narrated and re-narrated, changing from time to time and country to country, yet finding itself so well in the artistic engravings of Chagall.
The complete cycle of 50 illustrations which depicts Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, reflects Chagall’s view of the Shakespearean magic. “According to the latest critic interpretations, Chagall saw in Shakespeare’s” Tempest” the symbol of the storm that swept his own life, as well as a reflection of the shocking experiences of the European Jews in the first half of the twentieth century.” (Curatorial text)
At the entrance of the exhibition stands a cycle of 13-lithographs, a colorful reflection of life, light and hope of Chagall’s world. All cycles (white and in color) simultaneously display a completely original, warm and sharp language.
* Marc Chagall was born in 1887 in Vitebsk, Belarus and died in 1985 in France (Saint-Paul-de-Vence). Beyond his Jewish origin, Chagall had dual citizenship: Belorussian and French. He was influenced by several art streams like cubism, abstract expressionism and surrealism but he tried to create his own individuality, becoming one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. Due to his difficulty for social interaction and institutional relations, Chagall finally chooses Paris before Russia, hoping that one day she would learn to love him.