Goodbye, Wheatfield. You Had a Good Run!

After three decades of gracing the Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s Lenfest Hall, Marc Chagall’s A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon has come down and will be leaving Philadelphia for an indefinite amount of time. The massive thirty-by-fifty foot tempera-on-fabric will be sent to Japan’s Aomori Museum of Art, where, for the next four years, it will join the other three backdrops Chagall had created for Aleko, the 1942 ballet production by Léonide Massine that Chagall was originally commissioned to create the four backdrops for. He completed them in Mexico City.

When conceptualizing the set for Aleko, Chagall had said, “I want the color to play and speak alone.” In the creation of Wheatfield, he did so by using intense tones of red with minimal use of symbolic elements. The enormous sun monopolizes the composition, seducing both Aleko and the audience away from city life, towards its quixotic rays. Meanwhile, the ominous scythe hides ever so subtly.

Art for Marc Chagall was a means of personal expression as his imagery and allegories were uniquely sourced from his own personal narrative. He considered himself autonomous from other artists–as any artist will tell you that–although his style, much influenced by the work of his Parisian painter friends Robert Delaunay and Fernand Léger, has been described as a hybrid of Cubism, Fauvism, and Symbolism.

Now as the (both literal and proverbial) rays are shipped off to the East, PMA visitors will have to get used to a bare wall–for the time being. According to philly.com, “Sunday was the enormous work’s last day on display for an unspecified while, and its last-ever day in that spot. The wall on which it has hung will itself soon be gone, excised as part of the museum’s coming massive renovation.”

As the show must go on: take care, dear friend; your rays greeted us kindly and kept us warm.

Amie Potsic is a Photographic Artist on Inliquid. She explores the physical, socio-political and natural aspects of photography in Made in China and Skin Stories.
Amie Potsic
Amie Potsic

Amie Potsic is a Photographic Artist on Inliquid. She explores the physical, socio-political and natural aspects of photography…

Amie Potsic is a Photographic Artist on Inliquid. She explores the physical, socio-political and natural aspects of photography in Made in China and Skin Stories.…

Amie Potsic is a Photographic Artist on Inliquid. She explores the physical, socio-political and natural aspects of photography in Made in China and Skin Stories.…

Maggie Mills' work investigates the landscape future generations will inherit. Addressing climate change, sprawl, and the exploitation of natural resources, the modern plagues that define our environment.
Maggie Mills
Maggie Mills

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Maggie Mills' work investigates the landscape future generations will inherit. Addressing climate change, sprawl, and the exploitation of natural resources, the modern plagues that define our environment.…

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Marilyn Holsing was born and raised in northeastern Ohio and received her BFA in painting, drawing and graphics from the Ohio State University.
Marilyn Holsing
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Marilyn Holsing was born and raised in northeastern Ohio and received her BFA in painting, drawing and graphics from the Ohio State University.…

Marilyn Holsing was born and raised in northeastern Ohio and received her BFA in painting, drawing and graphics from the Ohio State University.…

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Nancy Neill
Nancy Neill

Nancy Neill is a contemporary abstract artist whose work combines painting with drawing using lines and scribble to portray…

Nancy Neill is a contemporary abstract artist whose work combines painting with drawing using lines and scribble to portray the movement and energy of outdoors. Her work can range from very colorful to…

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Stephen Spartana is an American photographic artist, based in Baltimore. His artwork researches different perspectives of the natural world,venturing at times to create images that are more fantasy then reality.
Stephen Spartana
Stephen Spartana

Stephen Spartana is an American photographic artist, based in Baltimore. His artwork researches different perspectives of…

Stephen Spartana is an American photographic artist, based in Baltimore. His artwork researches different perspectives of the natural world,venturing at times to create images that are more fantasy then…

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