Alexej Von Jawlensky Russia
3-13-1864 Torzhok, RUS – 3-15-1941 Wiesbaden, GERBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
At the age of ten Alexej von Jawlensky moved with his family to Moscow. After a few years of military training, he became interested in painting, visiting the Moscow World Exposition 1880. Thanks to his good social connections, he managed to get himself posted to St. Petersburg and, from 1889 to 1896, studied at the art academy there, while also discharging his military duties. Jawlensky gained admittance to the circle of Ilya Repin.
Free to pursue his artistic vision, he moved to Munich in 1894, where he studied in the private school of Anton Ažbe. In 1905 Alexej von Jawlensky visited Ferdinand Hodler, and two years later he began his long friendship with Jan Verkade and met Paul Sérusier. Together, Verkade and Sérusier transmitted to Jawlensky both practical and theoretical elements of the work of the Nabis, and Synthetist principles of art.
In Munich he met Wassily Kandinsky and various other Russian artists. His work in this period was lush and richly colored, but later moved towards abstraction and a simplified, formulaic style. Following a trip to the Baltic coast, and renewed contact with Henri Matisse in 1911 and Emil Nolde in 1912, Alexej von Jawlensky turned increasingly to the expressive use of color and form alone in his portraits.
Expelled from Germany in 1914, he moved to Switzerland. He met Emmy Scheyer in 1916, another artist who abandoned her own work to champion his in the United States. After a hiatus in experimentation with the human form, Alexej von Jawlensky produced perhaps his best-known series, the Mystical Heads, and the Saviour’s Faces, which are reminiscent of the traditional Russian Orthodox icons of his childhood.
In 1924 he organized the Blue Four, whose works, thanks to Scheyer’s tireless promotion, were jointly exhibited in Germany and the USA.
In 2003 Alexej von Jawlensky's Schokko sold for US$9,300,000 and in 2008 for US$18.43 million.
Influences: Anton Ažbe, Jan Verkade, Paul Sérusier
Traveled: Germany, Switzerland