Marc Chagall - Editions & Works on Paper New York Monday, October 16, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Fernand Mourlot 490-527
    Patrick Cramer Books 68

  • Catalogue Essay

    Pour moi un cirque est un spectacle magique qui passe et fond comme un monde.

    For me a circus is a magical spectacle that passes and melts like a world.

    C'est un mot magique le cirque, un jeu millenaire qui se danse, ou les hommes et les sourires, le jeu des jambes et des bras prennent la forme d'un grand art. Le cirque est la representation qui me semble la plus tragique. A travers les siecles, c'est le cri le plus aigu dans la recherche de l'amusement et de la joie de l'homme. Il prend souvent la forme de la haute poesie. Il me semble voir un Don Quichotte a la recherche d'un ideal comme ce clown genial qui a pleure et reve de l'amour humain.

    It is a magic world the circus, a millennial game that dances, or men and smiles, the play of legs and arms take the form of a great art. The circus is the representation that seems to me the most tragic. Through centuries, is the most sharp cry in the search for the amusement and joy of man. It often takes the form of high poetry. I seem to see a Don Quixote in search of an ideal like this genial clown who has wept and dreams of human love.

    Mon cirque se joue dans le ciel. Il se joue dans les nuages, parmi les chaises. Se joue dans la fenetre ou se reflete la lune. Dans la rue passe un homme. Il eteint les lumieres des reverberes de la ville. La representation est finie.

    My circus is played in the sky. It is played in the clouds among the chairs. Is played in the window upon which the moon is reflecting. In the street passes a man. He extinguished the lights of the city's lamp posts. The performance is over.

  • Artist Biography

    Marc Chagall

    Franco-Russian • 1887 - 1985

    Born Moishe Shagal in present-day Belarus, Marc Chagall (as he later became known) was one of the foremost Jewish artists of the 20th Century. He is perhaps best known for his inventive use of color and dream-like imagery, which anticipated Surrealism. His deeply religious upbringing influenced his work, as did the precarious political situation in Europe in the early 20th century. He first left the Russian Empire for France and Germany, but after returning to marry his wife, World War I prevented him from returning to France for over a decade. After the collapse of the French government during World War II, Chagall lived in New York until 1948. At that point, he returned permanently to France, which he considered his adopted homeland. 

    Chagall considered his style unique and actively resisted categorization. In Paris, he befriended Cubists like Robert Delaunay and Fernand Léger, but he also integrated elements of Fauvism and Symbolism into his practice. Aside from painting, Chagall also experimented with printmaking and stained glass--his windows can still be found in New York, France and Israel today. The artist passed away in 1985, and his work continues to be held in the permanent collections of many internationally prestigious museums.

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Le Cirque (The Circus)

The complete set of 38 lithographs (23 in colors), on Arches paper, the full sheets, loose (as issued), in- and hors-texte, title page, text in French and justification, within original paper wrapper, beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on the spine and matching slipcase.
portfolio 17 3/4 x 13 5/8 x 2 3/8 in. (45.1 x 34.6 x 6 cm)
Signed in pencil on the justification, copy number VI of 250 (there was also a signed edition of 24 with margins), published by Tériade Editeur, Paris.

$120,000 - 180,000 

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 17 October 2017