Jawlensky, Alexei von

Jawlensky, Alexei von Biography

Russian painter of aristocratic origins. At 35 he turned from a military career to art and studied at the Petersburg Academy and then, leaving Russia with Werefkin, in Munich. Alexei von Jawlensky travelled in France and was especially influenced by the work of Gauguin and Matisse, developing a calm, meditative sort of Expressionism marked by resonant colours and strong, simple forms, often with religious connotations. In 1909 he was a founder member of the Neue Kiinstlervereinigung. In 1914 he moved to Switzerland where, from 1917 on, he produced a series of abstracted, iconic heads charged with symbolic meaning. From 1924 he lived in Wiesbaden.

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