Gallery Keen

Chagall, Kandinsky and Horizons

Here we are in Pisces season and I've yet to share my thoughts on the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024. Perhaps because life has been quite a roller coaster ride over the past 3 months.

Without going into all the details about life's ups and downs, I'll just say that I'm still here and still leaning into the arts and culture scene to help me navigate the world and cope when it all gets to be a little much. Something I imagine all artists do from time to time ... if not all the time.

Par exemple ...

Last December, I had the pleasure of visiting the dynamically brilliant immersive art exhibitions at the Hall des Lumières, a digital art center in New York City, for a fantastic showcase on the works of Marc Chagall and Vasily Kandinsky. The organization that created this mind-bending experience, Culturescapes, has similar art centers around the world.

It may seem hyperbolic, but words cannot express how delighted I was to see a new presentation of these 2 artists' works together. Why? Because Chagall and Kandinsky are, in my mind, 2 of the most celebrated 20th-century artists who deserve to be a little more celebrated.

So pairing them together guaranteed an easy "Yes!" for me when the show was announced last fall. So even though it took a little while for me to get there, in the end, I made it. And I couldn't have asked for a more lovely experience.

Although the exhibitions are closed now, I've added photos and videos of this unique presentation here on my blog for anyone who missed it. Below, I've indicated where the images were taken (i.e., on which levels of the Hall), and hopefully the images will give you an idea of how hard it was to capture everything on my lowly little camera phone.

But don't let my poor materials stop you from appreciating everything. Each section ends with videos of the space for that particular artist, first for Marc Chagall, then for Vasily Kandinsky, and finally for the special cherry-on-top with a pro-environmentalism message, Infinite Horizons.

Enjoy!

The Marc Chagall exhibition - Paris, Chagall

The outside of the Hall des Lumieres in NYC.
The outside of the Hall des Lumières in NYC.
The Chagall exhibition was the first presentation.
The Chagall exhibition was the first presentation.
My view from my seat on the main level. Note the enormity of the space.
My view from my seat on the main level. Note the enormity of the space.
Chagall's work was made for this type of immersive experience.
Chagall's work was made for this type of immersive experience.
The exhibition also included photos of his work in his studio and the man himself.
The exhibition also included photos of his work in his studio and the man himself.
I liked this one in particular because of how they emphasized the mosaic aspect of the artwork in time with the accompanying music.
I liked this one in particular because of how they emphasized the mosaic aspect of the artwork in time with the accompanying music.
And just when I thought the exhibition couldn't get anymore stunning, they brought this piece to life.
And just when I thought the exhibition couldn't get anymore stunning, they brought this piece to life.
All of the exhibitions play on a loop, making it easy for you to enjoy the show downstairs on the second level where the artworks look even more awe-inspiring.
All of the exhibitions play on a loop, making it easy for you to enjoy the show downstairs on the second level where the artworks look even more awe-inspiring.
Walking through this space was surreal, yet relaxing. Like a acid trip without any of the harsh side effects.
Walking through this space was surreal, yet relaxing. Like a acid trip without any of the harsh side effects.
But don't worry about anyone doing anything untoward downstairs. There are guards to keep an eye on everyone to make sure no one gets hurt or suffers from any side effects from the immersive experience.
But don't worry about anyone doing anything untoward downstairs. There are guards to keep an eye on everyone to make sure no one gets hurt or suffers from any side effects from the immersive experience.
There are also stools and floor pillows for anyone who wants to take a load off and full relax in the space.
There are also ottomans and floor pillows for anyone who wants to take a load off and full relax in the space.
The exhibitions also come with placards to explain what each showcase is all about, as well as the vision of each artist and their work.
The exhibitions also come with detailed wall placards to explain what each showcase is all about, as well as the vision of each artist and their work.
As a museum nerd and gallery geek, I appreciated learning about the entire presentation as much as being immersed in it.
As a museum nerd and gallery geek, I appreciated learning about the entire presentation as much as being immersed in it.
The visual showcase was paired with music that highlighted the works beautifully. It was an interesting range of audio accompaniment including everything from Bizet's "Carmen" opera to David Bowie.
A stroll through the downstairs space on the lower level was a fascinating journey that can't quite be captured in words or even in video. But I tried anyway.

The Vassily Kandinsky exhibition - The Odyssey of Abstraction

Just as colorful and unique as Chagall, the Kandinsky exhibit lit up the space vibrantly.
Just as colorful and unique as Chagall, the Kandinsky exhibit lit up the space vibrantly.
The geometric shapes rotated and danced on the walls and ceiling just as I imagine they may have for Kandinsky himself.
The geometric shapes rotated and danced on the walls, ceiling and floor just as I imagine they may have in Kandinsky's mind when he conceived them.
Although the Kandinsky exhibition was shorter than the Chagall showcase, it complemented it perfectly.
Although the Kandinsky exhibition was shorter than the Chagall one, they complemented each other perfectly.
The entire experience was just ... mesmerizing.
The entire experience was just ... mesmerizing.
The view from the rear balcony gives you an idea on the enormity of the space.
The view from the rear balcony gives you an idea on the enormity of the space.


Unfortunately, I didn't capture any videos of the Kandinsky exhibition, but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.

The Infinite Horizons exhibition

Taking photos inside the vault for the Infinite Horizons exhibition proved especially difficult, but I'm glad I got to experience it first hand.
Taking photos inside the vault for the "Infinite Horizons" exhibition proved especially difficult given its mirrored surfaces, but I'm glad I got to experience it first hand.
As I mentioned, photos and videos taken inside the vault were particularly difficult, but I think this video does help give you some idea of what the experience was like.

All Images and Videos: Captured by Candace Nicholson

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