The Elusive Marc Chagall

With his wild and whimsical imagery, the Russian-born artist bucked the trends of 20th-century art

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Notes veteran art critic Pierre Schneider, “Chagall absorbed Cubism, Fauvism, Surrealism, Expressionism and other modern art trends incredibly fast when he was starting out. But he used them only to suit his own aesthetic purposes. That makes it hard for art critics and historians to label him. He can’t be pigeonholed.”

When he died in Saint Paul de Vence on March 28, 1985, at 97, Chagall was still working, still the avant-garde artist who refused to be modern. That was the way he said he wanted it: “To stay wild, untamed . . . to shout, weep, pray.”


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