Professor Andrew Renton on Marc Chagall and the question: What is a Jewish artist?

February 22, 2024

During the run of the Jewish Museum of Australia‘s major exhibition CHAGALL, Professor Andrew Renton visited the show and reflected – in realtime – on the great artist’s work, extending ideas he first wrote for the JMA’s arts and cultural magazine ILLUMINATE. Andrew ruminates on the question ‘what is a Jewish artist?’, he shares his insights on Chagall’s use of symbolism, Chagall’s embodiment of the Torah and how it manifests in his work, and shares his thoughts on Chagall’s position as a modern artist, a Jewish artist and a groundbreaking artist.

Read Andrew’s essay ‘The Personal Torah of Marc Chagall‘, originally written for and published in ILLUMINATE #3.

Andrew Renton is a writer and curator and is Professor of Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has curated many shows internationally, including the first Manifesta European biennial. He was the founding Director of Marlborough Contemporary Gallery in London. He wrote a weekly column for the Evening Standard on art issues, and is the author and editor of many articles, books and monographs on art. He has been a member of the jury for the Turner Prize. He was active in the creation of Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art and is a board member and trustee of several arts organisations such as Drawing Room and The Jewish Quarterly. He is Chair of The Showroom London. He has advised many collections and institutions, including the British Government Art Collection.

Video: Sarah Giles, ‘Professor Andrew Renton on Marc Chagall and the question: What is a Jewish artist?’. Jewish Museum of Australia 2023.