I will be the first to admit that at times it can be hard to venture out into the tight grip of Montreal’s winter. Despite this, I urge you to visit some of Montreal’s museums, particularly the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (only a few blocks away from McGill). They often hold fabulous exhibitions, and the Collection and Discovery exhibitions are free for students. The Major exhibitions come at a slight cost (in this case $15); however, it is discounted for students.
The Chagall Colour and Music exhibition is “the biggest Canadian exhibition ever devoted to Marc Chagall,” as detailed on the museum’s website. Born in 1887 and considered by many as a pioneer of modern art, Chagall was a Russian-French artist who combined his memories of childhood, love of music, experiences of war and his Jewish faith into a lifetime of art. A man of immense talent and diversity, his work ranges from paintings, drawings, costumes, sculptures, ceramics, stained glass and tapestries, to his creations for stage productions. All of these pieces were produced throughout his life time, until he died in 1985.
The exhibition is extensive, and features “over 340 works of art” so be prepared to spend a few hours of your day here. At the entrance, visitors are invited to read an introduction about Chagall’s paintings, including his inspirations and intentions. The first room is filled with Chagall’s drawings and paintings, each with a detailed description. There is also a time line of his life, giving context to each work. As you move through the rooms, the art progresses from his exquisite paintings, to his elaborate costumes and backdrop designs for theatre productions (including the designs drawings, displays of the costumes and documentary footage of the productions). The next rooms are filled with his sculptures, tapestries, and one room is dedicated to a display of his stained glass windows. Depending on the room, there is also accompanying music that compliments the pieces of art perfectly, creating an interesting atmosphere in a space that would usually be quiet.
If you are a lover of modern art (and whether you are familiar with Chagall’s work or not), this exhibition is not one to miss. The selection and array of work is astounding, and the layout of the exhibition is both smooth and aesthetically appealing.
It is both a fun and cultural activity that breaks up the study grind! Luckily the exhibition runs until June 11th, so there is plenty of time to go and see it.
For more information you can visit the museum’s website.
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