|Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips) 1913|
Yet it took one decisive incident to change that prospect when Alexei Jawlensky's life (1864-1941) was forever altered by a visit to the 1880 Moscow World Exposition, which introduced him to painting. After attending school in Moscow he ventured forward and studied painting with the Russian realist painter llya Repin in St. Petersburg.
For anyone unfamiliar with this Russian-born artist's oeuvre, the first full museum retrospective devoted to the expressionist artist to be held in the United States, is on view at the NEUE GALERIE in New York through May 29, 2017. Image Right: Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips), 1913, oil on board. Centre Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne/Centre de creation industrielle. Donation de M. Robert Haas in 1982.
Often women paved the way to support Jawlensky's artistic endeavors. After growing increasingly disenchanted with realism, and after meeting Marianne von Werefkin in 1896, Jawlensky moved to Munich, where he and Vasily Kandinsky studied with Anton Azbe. At this time, Jawlensky became an integral member of the artistic avant-garde that advanced important developments in Expressionism and abstraction.
|Oberstdorf Mountains 1912|
In 1908 Jawlensky and Werefkin joined Kandinsky and his companion Gabriele Munter for several weeks to paint in the Bavarian town of Murnau, south of Munich, where they lived. The following year, Jawlensky, Kandinsky and others formed the Neue Kunstiervereinigung Munchen, an artists' association. With his newly established status among peers Jewlensky was friendly with Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, and artists associated with Der Blaue Reiter. Image: Artists Rights Society (ARS) , New York. Murnau, depicting the Bavarian village he visited with Kndinsky). At the start of World War I, Jawlensky fled to Switzerland, where he met another artist, Emmy Scheyer in 1916, who abandoned her own work to champion his in the United States.
The exhibition includes approximately 75 paintings ranging in date from 1900 to 1937 and explores the chronological and thematic development of Jawlensky's work. The exhibition begins with early figure paintings, still-lifes, and landscapes, and continues with a series of paintings created between 1914 and 1921 known as Variations.
|Abstract Head Late Summer 1928|
Jawlensky's life work, which spanned evolving styles, may be considered a meditation on the process of change in his personal life from representation to abstraction.
Image Right: Abstract Head, Late Summer (Crescent Moon) 1928 from the collection of Long Beach Museum of Art, Milton Wichner Collection 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS).
The exhibition concludes with the artists' late Meditations and Still-Lifes, a series of spiritual paintings created towards the end of his life, which stem from the piety of his Russian Orthodoxy. In 1921, Jawlensky relocated to Wiesbaden in southern Germany, where he lived and worked until his death in 1941. Though Jawlensky's oeuvre is not well known in the United States, he did, however, during his time, exhibit widely in world circles and exerted a strong influence on key developments in modern art. A fully-illustrated catalogue, published by Prestal Verlag, accompanies the exhibition. www.neuegalerie.org. Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Avenue @ 86th Street. 212-628-6200.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I love the way Jawlensky progressed from realism to abstraction and particularly his Deco heads. Fan mail welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. In the left hand column click on the subject that resonates with your interest on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.