[Marxism] Flying Goats and Black Squares, Charging Into the Future - The New York Times

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Sep 14 08:57:20 MDT 2018

Marc Chagall was born in 1887 outside Vitebsk, moved to Paris in the 
years before World War I, and returned to Russia as revolution took 
hold. We don’t think of him as a politically engaged artist, and this 
show includes familiar, color-saturated compositions of lovers by the 
waterside, revelers celebrating Purim, and goats and cows flying through 
the air. But Chagall was enraptured by the promise of Communism — as you 
can see in “Onward, Onward” (1918), a rhapsodic painting on paper in 
which a jumping man in plaid trousers, his legs spanning the whole 
composition, bounds through a sky of brilliant blue into a glorious 
popular future. Look closely and you’ll see gridlines beneath the 
gouache; this work was enlarged to mural scale for Vitebsk’s celebration 
of the first anniversary of the revolution, captured in a filmstrip 
projected here. Chagall, the city’s art commissar, was in charge of the 


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