Marc Chagall (1887-1985) traversed a long route from a boy in the Jewish Pale of Settlement, to a commissar of art in revolutionary Russia, to the position of a world-famous French artist. This book presents for the first time a comprehensive collection of Chagall's public statements on art and culture. The documents and interviews shed light on his rich, versatile, and enigmatic art from within his own mental world. The book raises the problems of a multi-cultural artist with several intersecting identities and the tensions between modernist form and cultural representation in twentieth-century art. It reveals the travails and achievements of his life as a Jew in the twentieth century and his perennial concerns with Jewish identity and destiny, Yiddish literature, and the state of Israel. This collection includes annotations and introductions of the Chagall texts by the renowned scholar Benjamin Harshav that elucidate the texts and convey the changing cultural contexts of Chagall's life. Also featured is the translation by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav of the first book about Chagall's work, the 1918 Russian The Art of Marc Chagall.
"[Marc Chagall on Art and Culture and Marc Chagall and His Times] represent important contributions to the fields of art history, twentieth-century history, and Russian studies, and Marc Chagall and His Times in particular will, I suspect, be a standard work for those studying Chagall's life for years to come."
Canadian Journal of History/ Annales canadiennes of d'histoire