This spring, the architectural firm of Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux has created an exceptional exhibition design for the largest Marc Chagall exhibition ever presented in Canada.
Under the leadership of the MMFA’s Director and Head Curator, Nathalie Bondil, and the museum’s Head of Exhibitions Production, Sandra Gagné, Anik Shooner and her team created an exhibition design in which the galleries are organized as a series of spaces that capture the extraordinary sensory range of Chagall’s work.
“To immerse yourself in the world of Chagall is a truly wonderful experience, from colours and materials to music, creations for the stage, costumes, fables, poetry... We worked to create an exhibition design occupying classic spaces, showcasing the great artist’s paintings and positioning visitors not only as viewers, but immersing them in worlds featuring costumes, among other elements. We wanted visitors to cross thresholds that embody the transition from one world to another. The visitor is by turns a spectator and an active participant. In every case, they experience dreamlike sensations inspired by an exhibition design at once immersive, reflective, restful and enticing – and always deep. Above all, we wanted to inspire visitors to feel the full emotional power of Chagall’s art,” says architect Anik Shooner.
THE WAKING DREAM: PASSAGEWAYS TO TOTAL ART
The exhibition is designed as a complete narrative and immersive experience, revealing and highlighting the diversity of the artist’s pictorial, decorative and architectural creations.
Punctuated by “thresholds” that embody the transition from one world to the next, like the transitions that happen in dreams, this is a deep journey into the ethereal world of Marc Chagall.
While the exhibition design is implemented in a very real physical setting, structuring a well-defined space, its dynamic design, architectural elements and technological apparatus (screens, lighting, material, music, colours) allow visitors to forget the boundaries and perimeter of the space, creating a sense of depth that draws them in and guides them, as if in a waking dream.
Like music, Chagall’s art evokes powerful, complex emotions that come together in a complete space whose workings are inexplicable.
Like Chagall’s art, the path through the exhibition was designed and composed with a deliberate intent to distance visitors from their bearings and draw them into a full immersion in the painter’s work. In perfect harmony with the music, the exhibition space is designed to embrace visitors, the better to put them at the heart of the mystery and complexity of the artist’s work.
As in the mysterious world of dreams, the exhibition galleries are designed as a collection of spaces both distinctive and inseparable, making the suggested path a rich experience, at once visual, musical and spatial.
To allow more people to enjoy Chagall: Colour and Music, the successful exhibition has been extended to Tuesday, June 13, 2017. The MMFA is open daily including Monday, May 29, June 5 and June 12, with hours on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, extended to 9 p.m.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator
Sandra Gagné, Head of Exhibitions Production
Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architects
Anik Shooner, Architect and Co-founder
Claudio Nunez, Architect and Director
About MENKÈS SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOURNEUX Architectes
Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes is proud to be associated with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for the largest exhibition of Marc Chagall’s works ever presented in Canada. Over the years, the firm has helped redefine major cultural sites and institutions and worked on many noteworthy projects. The collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts joins its other accomplishments reflecting a longstanding commitment to interior architecture, design, culture and the arts: Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in Place des Arts, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, the Youville pumping station at Pointe-à-Callière, the religion library at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, the Musée du Fjord in Saguenay, the Musée régional de Rimouski and Galerie Monopoli.