Alexej von Jawlensky - Mystischer Kopf: Kopf in Lila und Blau

Alexej von Jawlensky - Mystischer Kopf: Kopf in Lila und Blau - image-1
Alexej von Jawlensky - Mystischer Kopf: Kopf in Lila und Blau - image-2
Alexej von Jawlensky - Mystischer Kopf: Kopf in Lila und Blau - image-1Alexej von Jawlensky - Mystischer Kopf: Kopf in Lila und Blau - image-2

Alexej von Jawlensky

Mystischer Kopf: Kopf in Lila und Blau
1917

Oil on card, mounted on wood. 40 x 30.9 cm. Framed under glass. Unsigned. Verso signed, dated and inscribed 'A. Jawlensky, Kopf in Lila und Blau, 1917, K 40 x 30,7, M.K. No. 40' in blue by the artist's son. - In very good condition with fresh colours. Tiny losses of colour in the lower right and left corner.

The “Kopf in Lila und Blau” belongs to Jawlensky’s “Mystische Köpfe” series, which he created during his stay in Zurich and then later in Ascona. Following his previous “Mädchenköpfe”, which include the version from 1913 (lot 71), the “Mystische Köpfe” are characterised by further abstraction: head, hair, eyes and mouth are now indicated by just a few horizontal, vertical or curved lines, and the resulting shapes are filled in with bold colours. Around 1917 Jawlensky was striving to create an increasingly schematic form of the face that displays hardly any individual features. The hair falling on to the forehead and the pleasantly curving lips are the last reminiscences of an individual characterisation. As summarised in the catalogue of the major Jawlensky exhibition shown in Munich in 1983, from that time on, the “Mystische Köpfe” became “symbols of an inner gaze which rendered reality, in its physical presence, increasingly insignificant” (cited in: Alexej Jawlensky, exh. cat. München 1983, p. 246). Jawlensky himself wrote along these lines to Father Verkade: “I sat in my studio and painted, and I had no need for nature as a prompter. It was enough for me when I concentrated, prayed and prepared my soul in a religious state” (op. cit.).
The period in Zurich and Ascona was an important, though painful part of Jawlensky’s life. Artistically, he was working on two series at the same time: the “Mystische Köpfe” and the “Variationen”. Privately, he definitively separated from Marianne von Werefkin, his romantic partner of many years. However, the period around 1917/1918 was also defined by many interesting personal contacts. For example, he saw his old friend the dancer Alexander Sacharoff and his wife Clotilde von Derp again, and he also met with Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Marie Laurencin and Paul Cassirer.

Catalogue Raisonné

M. Jawlensky/Pieroni-Jawlensky/A. Jawlensky Bianconi vol. II, no. 898 with ill. p. 203. Inscribed "Die Schöne" in the artist's Cahier Noir.

Provenance

Artist's estate; Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles (1967) (label verso); Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles (label verso); Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, Auktion 206, June 1975, lot 788; Private collection, Rhineland

Literature

Clemens Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Cologne 1959, cat. no. 214 (titled "Lila und Blau")

Exhibitions

Cologne 1958 (Galerie Aenne Abels), cat. no. 20; Bonn 1958 (Städtische Kunstsammlungen), Alexej Jawlensky - Adolf Hölzel, cat. no. 17; Berlin 1958 (Haus am Waldsee), cat. no. 47; Munich 1959 (Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus), Alexej Jawlensky und Marianne von Werefkin, cat. no. 27; Nuremberg 1959 (Fränkische Galerie), Alexej Jawlensky und Marianne von Werefkin, cat. no. 21; Geneva 1963 (Galerie Krugier), no. 34

Lot 70 Dα

Estimate:
300.000 € - 400.000 €