Friday, November 18, 2011

Harbinger, Chagall, Toronto, and Me


I'm at SFContario with such luminaries at John Scalzi, Rob Sawyer, and Gardner Dozois, and from the window of my hotel room I can see Harbinger, a skyscraper-top artwork which changes color depending on the wind speed.  If you're here too, I suggest you go out at night and look for it.  Pretty neat.

And I took in some art . . . 

Over at the Art Gallery of Ontario (highly recommended at all times; don't miss the Frank Gehry staircase) there's a show of Marc Chagall's artwork, along with paintings by his contemporaries in the Russian avant-garde.

Looking at Chagall always makes me want to write.  And this time was no exception.  I discovered Clowns in the Night, a dark and beautiful work that surely was about the Holocaust.  I learned more about the art of Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov and Ivan Koudriachov and other artists about whom I know far too little.  And then I looked at the biographical data for the artists and saw how many died in the Holocaust or else shortly after returning to Russia.

The Twentieth Century was an evil one.  Let's pray the Twenty-First is better.


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