Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Wednesday Post

Over the Tournament
Marc Chagall's postal send-off

Everybody likes Marc Chagall!  People who don't like modern art give Chagall a pass; they may not know much about modern art, but they know what they like, and they like Chagall.  Hell, people who don't like art at all kind of dig Chagall, sometimes.

Granada likes Chagall!

France likes Chagall!

Mozambique likes Chagall!

A lot!

Israel likes Chagall!

In fact, enough countries have liked Chagall in the philatelic sense over the years that, if you were so inclined, you could purchase a stamp album just to keep your Chagall stamp collection in.  This would, without a doubt, be cheaper than collecting the originals.

Which is why it was a bit of a shocker two weeks ago when Philippe de Champaigne, who Chagall beat in Round One, turned around squeezed out a one-vote victory in their Grudge Match reunion. 

Now, at this point we're used to seeing artists leave the tournament.  Among the 55 main-tournament contestants that beat Chagall out the door are major names like De Chirico, Christo, Correggio, Canaletto, Cimabue, and Carracci -- and that's just in the C's.  But Chagall felt different.  At the time he left us, he had the highest average votes per match and the highest ratio of votes for to votes against of anyone who had left the tournament (although both records have since been topped by Antonella de Messina).

And then, look at the competition.  He put up a strong fight against Cezanne and beat up on an artist as popular as Christo.  Heck, in the First Round he even put up a three-point margin against Phillipe de Champagne, an artist so good that he would later go on to defeat Marc Chagall!

"I just can't imagine modernism," wrote Mrs.5000, "without Chagall at the gentle end of the spectrum--his lyrical scenes and vibrant palette, his willingness to reinvent rather than sever ties to religion, history, the observed world." And the good news is that we don't have to imagine modernism without him. But, we have no choice but to accept the Infinite Art Tournament with him no longer in it.

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