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Alexej von Jawlensky

Torschok, Russia 1864 - 1941 Wiesbaden

Following his studies at the Royal Academy of Art in St. Petersburg, Alexej von Jawlensky left Russia and moved to Munich with Helene Nesnakomoff (his future wife) and the painter Marianne von Werefkin. There, he attended the Ažbe School of Painting and met Wassily Kandinsky. While travelling, Jawlensky became acquainted with the works of the French avant-garde movement, which inspired him to his vividly coloured style of painting and a vigorous stroke of the brush. He worked with Henri Matisse - and later with Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin in Murnau. Along with Kandinsky, he founded the art association Neue Münchner Künstlervereinigung in 1909 and later joined the group 'Der Blaue Reiter'. In 1924, he, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee formed the group 'Die Blaue Vier'. His works were focussed on aspects of colour and form; iconographic and narrative references became secondary. At a very early stage, he thus already concentrated on three genres - portraits, still lifes and landscapes. His late works were mainly abstract representations of the human visage; they were termed 'Meditations' and became almost icon-like, spiritual devotional images.

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