Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage

Art, Painting
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 (Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen)
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Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen
 (Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen)
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Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen
 (Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen)
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Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen
 (Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen)
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Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen
 (Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen)
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Photograph: Courtesy LACMA/Fredrik Nilsen

Explore the whimsical modernist’s vibrant costumes and set designs from three ballets and an opera in this expressive exhibition.

Step underneath the velvety curtain that gates this LACMA gallery and you'll feel as though you've walked into a theater. Marc Chagall's colorful, hand-painted costumes glow against his scaled-down backdrops, as stage lighting and swells of classical music only add to the auditorium-like atmosphere. Even for those unfamiliar with the early modernist, the exhibition is a stirring, multi-sensory whirlwind of color and music.

Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage assembles 41 costumes and nearly 100 preparatory sketches and studies that the whimsical modernist designed for three ballets and a single opera. The ticketed LACMA exhibition runs from July 31 through January 7.

Chagall's artwork, both on canvas and cloth, is full of vibrant colors, bold lines and curious contours. While the art is clearly the focus of the exhibition, the gallery's imaginitive design elevates the touring show into something wholly unique at LACMA. Yuval Sharon and Jason H. Thompson have arranged each theatrical production's costumes and backdrops into a series of decorated stages; rotating music selections from each ballet or opera accompany one area at time, which further adds to the sense of live performance in the gallery space.

By: Michael Juliano

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