Christie's /May 18, 2017
€11,822.01 - €17,733.02
Artworks in Arcadja530
Some works of Alexej Von JawlenskyExtracted between 530 works in the catalog of Arcadja
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Sale 2454 Lot 447 ALEXEJ JAWLENSKY Kopf. Lithograph with hand coloring in crayons, circa 1922. 280x235 mm; 11x9 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed in pencil, lower right. Born in Russia, Jawlensky (1864-1941) moved to Munich in 1896 where he would become a central figure in early German Expressionist circles. Jawlensky traveled to Paris after the turn of the century where he was heavily influenced by the Fauves, particularly Hebri Matisse. He then worked alongside Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter in Murnau, Germany beginning in 1908, leading to his involvement with the artist's circle Der Blau Reiter in Munich. Jawlensky revistied his Mystical Heads series, to which the current lot relates, throughout his career with increasing abstraction.
Auction: Christie's -Jun 27, 2017 - LondonLot number: 17
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Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) Infantin (Spanierin) signed 'A. Jawlensky' (lower left); signed, dated and inscribed 'N1 O Spanierin 1913 A. Jawlensky' (on the reverse) oil on board 21 x 19 1/2 in. (53.4 x 49.5 cm.) Painted in 1912-1913 Executed in bold swathes of vibrant colour, Alexej Jawlensky's Infantin (Spanierin) belongs to the brief yet dynamic period of creative activity that began with the artist\’s stylistic epiphany on the Baltic coast in 1911 and ended with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Referring to this period as \‘the turning-point\’ in his art, Jawlensky believed that the works he produced during this period were among the most powerful of all his artistic achievements. Focusing almost exclusively on portraits of female sitters, the paintings of these years are characterised by simplified forms, juxtapositions of vibrant, complementary colours, gestural brushstrokes and stark outlines as he sought to emancipate the artistic image from its resemblance to nature. As the artist later recalled in his memoirs, during these years he \‘painted large figure paintings in powerful, glowing colours and not at all naturalistic or objective. I used a great deal of red, blue, orange, yellow, and chromium-oxide green. My forms were strongly contoured and came with tremendous power from an inner ecstasy\’ (Jawlensky, quoted in C. Weiler, Jawlensky: Heads Faces Meditations, New York, 1971, p 98). During these years, Jawlensky produced many portraits of figures dressed colourfully or in exotic attire, his fascination with cultural types crossing a spectrum of identities, from the women of Sicily, to figures such as Barbarian Princess, 1912, Byzantine Woman, 1913, and Creole Woman, 1913. Amongst these were several studies of Spanish women, often wearing a traditional black lace mantilla, or draped in diaphanous veils and adorned with colourful flowers in their hair. In these works, Jawlensky may be seen to be reacting to a widespread vogue for Spanish themes in European art that the artist likely encountered through his close contact with the Fauves in Paris. For most of the 19th century, an orientalist fantasy of Spanish culture pervaded French music, literature and theatre, producing notable works such as Manet's Mademoiselle V in the Costume of an Espada, 1862, and Young Woman Reclining in Spanish Costume, 1862-1863. By the early Twentieth Century, the idea of an exotic and colourful Iberian culture had carried over into works by Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck and their colleagues, which Jawlensky saw when he exhibited six paintings at the Salon d'Automne in 1905. Indeed, the expressive colour, dark outlines, and decorative flowers in the present painting echo Matisse's Spanish Woman with a Tambourine, 1909, now housed in the collections of the Pushkin Museum, Moscow. Jawlensky's penchant for painting costumed figures in this period may also relate to his contact with the expatriate Russian modern dancer, Alexander Sacharoff and his wife, Clotilde von Derp. Seeking out the experimental, intellectual climate that had attracted Jawlensky to Munich at the turn of the century, Sacharoff joined the Neue Künstlervereinigung (New Artist's Association) that Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Marianne von Werefkin and others had founded in 1909. The members of this group, many of whom later formed the Blaue Reiter, enthusiastically greeted his sensual and androgynous approach to dance as an expression of the self. Posing with the Jawlenskys in a group photo from a fancy dress ball in 1913, Clotilde von Derp appears in a Spanish costume complete with shawl, fan, and veil, while Sacharoff wears an elaborate sash and white turban with a large black feather. The exotic costumes from the couple's performances also became the subject of numerous paintings and drawings by Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin. As Jawlensky recalled in 1937: \‘In those days we were always together and he visited us almost every day. We discussed his entire training together. I always watched how he danced. He also knew and understood my art very well\’ (quoted in ibid, p.106). In Infantin (Spanierin), the artist\’s future wife, Helene Neznakomova, is cast in the role of the Spanish woman adorned with a bright blue headdress or shawl while four large blooms frame her face, their stems tucked into her hair. Helene was a figure of great importance in Jawlensky\’s life, his model, muse, and lover who became the inspiration for many of his greatest works. Alexej and Helene had first met when she was just fourteen years old, while the artist was visiting the family estate of his companion and mistress, Marianne von Werefkin. The daughter of a merchant family of the Werefkin\’s acquaintance, Helene was also staying with the family at the time, and subsequently accompanied Marianne and Jawlensky back to Munich, as Marianne\’s personal maid. Jawlensky and Helene soon began a relationship, which grew over a number of years and culminated in the birth of the couple\’s son, Andreas, in 1902. For much of their relationship the pair continued to live with Marianne, in a complex ménage a trois, which only came to an end in the 1920s. While Helene sat for Jawlensky throughout their relationship, many of the artist\’s portraits of his partner eschewed an accurate portrayal of her features, and instead used her form as a conduit through which he could explore the spiritual concerns of his art. This is evident in the present work, where Helene\’s face is elongated, her eyes enlarged to preternatural proportions to emphasize the power of her gaze, and her features captured in an array of vibrant, expressive strokes of paint. The electric blue veil enveloping her, meanwhile, appears as a halo, surrounding her head in a luminous shimmer of bright colour, which is echoed in the shadows that dance across her face. By reducing traces of his sitter\’s individuality, expunging the idiosyncrasies of her appearance in pursuit of a more generalised character, Helene\’s heavily stylised and geometric facial features appear mask-like. This allows Jawlensky to use his model as a vehicle for his own experimentations in expressing an inner, subjective vision of the world, rendering her as an archetypal character rather than an identifiable person. As a result, Jawlensky frees himself from the need to slavishly reproduce an accurate representation of Helene\’s appearance and character, instead creating a blank canvas upon which he can project his own personal view of the world. It is a tribute to the strength of Jawlensky\’s vision that many of the people who came into contact with him would become devotees, his intense spiritualism and profound, almost religious, belief in his art proving hugely influential. One of the artist\’s greatest supporters was Emmy 'Galka' Scheyer, the first owner of Infantin (Spanierin). Galka entered Jawlensky's orbit as a student, but was so impressed by his approach to painting that she abandoned her own efforts, realising that she could never attain such a purity of intent or level of genius in her painting. Instead, she devoted herself to promoting Jawlensky's work, becoming the artist\’s principal dealer in America during the 1920s and 30s. Their friendship ultimately led to the creation of The Blue Four, a small group of artists that included Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee, its name chosen to allude to the artists\’ previous association with the Blaue Reiter group. While The Blue Four was not an official association, through it Galka sought to make the work and ideas of these artists better known to an American audience through exhibitions, lectures and sales. Her promotion of the Blue Four during this period proved indispensable to Jawlensky, providing him with not only an essential source of income, but also a wealth of intellectual and emotional support when he needed it most.
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Description: Alexei von Jawlensky (German/Russian 1864-1941), Study for "Spanierin," gouache on paper, signed lower right, sheet: 10.5"h x 7.5"w, overall (with frame): 18.25"h x 15.5"w. Provenance: Provate collection Las Vegas, NV; Estate of Northern California art dealers, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pyle (Morro Bay/San Francisco, CA). Note: Accompanied by COA
Auction: Christie's -May 18, 2017 - LondonLot number: 514
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Alexej Von Jawlensky (1864-1941) Bildnis des Tänzers Sacharoff in Tanzpose signed with the initials 'A.J.' (lower right; recto), inscribed and dated '1912. Sacharoff, Alexandre' (lower left; recto); signed with the initials 'A.J.' (lower right; verso) pencil on paper 17 ½ x 11 ½ in. (44.5 x 29.6 cm.) Drawn in 1912, framed
Auction: Christie's -May 15, 2017 - New-yorkLot number: 25A
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Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) Das blasse Mädchen mit grauen Zopfen signed \\\‘A. Jawlensky\\\’ (lower left) and signed again 'A. Jawlensky' (upper left) oil over pencil on linen-finish paper laid down on masonite 25 x 19 ½ in. (63.5 x 49.5 cm.) Painted circa 1916 Once the German declaration of hostilities against Russia was announced on 1 August 1914, igniting the First World War, Alexej von Jawlensky–Russian-born and once a junior officer in the Czar\\\’s army—was given forty-eight hours to abandon his home in Munich and leave his adopted land, having lived and painted there for almost two decades. He, his family, and close friend the painter Marianne von Werefkin, also Russian, taking only what they could carry, arrived on 3 August in Lindau on Lake Constance to board a Swiss ferry that would transport them into exile. Under military escort, enduring jeers from townspeople along the way, they left Germany. This devastating turn in fortune, the humiliation of the experience, and moreover the ensuing tragedy of pan-European war and the revolution in Russia, altered the course of Jawlensky\\\’s life and art. In Das blasse Mädchen mit grauen Zopfen (\\\“The Pale Girl with Gray Braids\\\”), the artist continued his signature, pre-war series of expressive women\\\’s heads, while contemplating a more introspective and spiritual sense of the world, and the nature of his response to the chaos into which it had descended. Jawlensky and his family circle resettled in the lakeside village of Saint-Prex. \\\“It was very tiny, our house, and I had no room of my own, only a window which I could call mine,\\\” he later reminisced. \\\“I tried to continue painting as I had in Munich, but something inside me would not allow me to go on with those colorful, powerful, sensual works. My soul had undergone a change as the result of so much suffering... I had to discover different forms and colors to express what my soul felt\\\” (quoted in Alexei von Jawlensky, exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York, 2017, p. 51). Using his window as a frame, Jawlensky painted during late 1914-1916 some 150 \\\“Variations on a landscape theme.\\\” The artist employed for the first time in his work a serial procedure, such as Robert Delaunay had done in his pre-war Fenêtres sur la ville paintings, one of which Jawlensky owned. In these \\\“songs without words,\\\” as Jawlensky called them, stemming from deep inner necessity–in the manner his friend Kandinsky had ardently advocated–he verged on the modernist ideal of pure painting. \\\“I gradually found the right colors and form to express what my spiritual self demanded\\\” (ibid., p. 52). Jawlensky also began to paint female heads once again, only a few in 1915, then nearly two dozen more in a flush of enthusiasm during 1916. He retained in Das blasse Mädchen the strong pre-war contours drawn in black paint, while altering his formerly aggressive Fauve and expressionist battery of color to manifest the more subtle contrasts of ethereal, pastel tints. The presence of a young art student Jawlensky met in the autumn of 1916—Emmy Scheyer, whom he nicknamed \\\“Galka\\\” (\\\“jackdaw,\\\” for her black hair)—contributed to his renewed emphasis on the female visage. These paintings evolved into his next series, the Mystischer Kopf (\\\“Mystical Head\\\”). Henceforth, Jawlensky\\\’s main subject would be \\\“the human face, the divine in the human…[the artist believed] \\\‘a work of art is God made visible\\\’\\\” (M. Jawlensky et. al., op. cit., 1992, p. 16). Greta Garbo collected Jawlensky in depth, a group now referred to as \\\“The Garbo Jawlenskys\\\” by Angelica Jawlensky Bianconi, a keeper of the Jawlensky Archives in Locarno. Garbo acquired her Jawlenskys from noted dealers in Los Angeles, New York, and in Germany and Switzerland, including Leonard Hutton and Dalzell Hatfield during the 1960s and 1970s. Garbo\\\’s friend, screenwriter and co-star in the German version of Anna Christie, Salka Viertel, ran a salon for the German and Austrian expatriate community at her home in Santa Monica. As a result, Garbo would have crossed paths with Galka Scheyer, who was Jawlensky\\\’s representative in California at the time. Provenance Estate of the artist. Andreas Jawlensky (by descent from the above). Galerie Aenne Abels, Cologne (probably acquired from the above, by 1958). Acquired by the late owner, circa 1970. Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF GRETA GARBO In the history of cinema, few individuals remain as enigmatic and iconic as the actress Greta Garbo. \\\“Of all the stars who have ever fired the imaginations of audiences,\\\” film historian Ephraim Katz wrote, \\\“none has quite projected a magnetism and a mystique equal to [hers].\\\” Born in Sweden in 1905, Greta Garbo was a shy, imaginative young woman who studied at Stockholm\\\’s Royal Dramatic Theatre acting school. In 1924, she appeared in her first film, the Swedish-produced Saga of Gosta Berling. After being \\\‘discovered\\\’ by MGM co-founder Louis B. Mayer, Garbo relocated to Hollywood, and in 1926 released her first American picture, The Torrent. An instant commercial success, the actress would be deemed \\\“the greatest money-making machine ever put on screen,\\\” and later won an honorary Academy Award for her \\\“luminous and unforgettable\\\” performances. Garbo\\\’s mastery of her craft—spellbinding in its subtlety of expression—left an indelible mark on audiences and critics alike. \\\“Garbo still belongs to that moment in cinema,\\\” philosopher Roland Barthes observed, \\\“when capturing the human face plunged audiences into the deepest ecstasy, when one literally lost oneself in a human image....\\\” In films such as Flesh and the Devil (1926) to her first \\\‘talking\\\’ picture, Anna Christie (1930), filmgoers were enraptured by the actress\\\’s signature persona of graceful world-weariness. In just twenty-eight films across sixteen years, Garbo managed to solidify her place as one of the twentieth century\\\’s greatest talents. \\\“She would move her head just a little bit,\\\” director George Cukor enthused, \\\“and the whole screen would come alive, like a strong breeze that made itself felt.\\\” Fellow actress Bette Davis described Garbo\\\’s performances as \\\“pure witchcraft.\\\” Much of the public\\\’s fascination with Garbo stemmed from the actress\\\’s successful evasion of the Hollywood publicity machine. From her earliest years in film to her death in 1990, Garbo granted few interviews, declined to sign autographs, and avoided public functions such as the Academy Awards. After retiring from cinema at just thirty-five years old, the actress transitioned to a life dedicated to fine art, scholarship, and the many friends she held dear. From the 1940s, Garbo began to assemble a remarkable private collection of painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative art. For those fortunate enough to be welcomed into the actress\\\’s wood-paneled Manhattan residence, the \\\‘real\\\’ Garbo would be revealed: a vivacious, quick-witted woman who lived each day surrounded by beauty. Through both personal erudition and friendships with luminaries such as Albert Barnes and Alfred Barr, Garbo steadily acquired works by artists including Robert Delaunay, Chaïm Soutine, and Alexej von Jawlensky. Dynamically composed in brilliant hues, the collection was largely hidden from public view—a treasure to be absorbed through intimate contemplation and conversation. Garbo\\\’s grandniece, Gray Reisfield Horan, recalled her aunt\\\’s profound love for the collection. \\\“What are they talking about?\\\” she would ask visitors about the pictures. \\\“What do they say to each other?\\\” It was a tremendously personal assemblage, one the actress arranged and re-hung with each new purchase. Horan described the image Garbo sitting each night in front of her favorite paintings, \\\“enjoying her evening scotch and a Nat Sherman cigarettello... held so elegantly with her gemstone encrusted Van Cleef & Arpels holder.\\\” In many ways, the collection both reflected and rebutted Garbo\\\’s illustrious career: suffused with undeniable visual power, its boldness of color stood in contrast with the argent mystique of early Hollywood. \\\“Color,\\\” Horan recalled of her aunt\\\’s acquisitions, \\\“was always the essential component.... The works meshed and flowed in a wondrous explosion of enveloping hues.... Nothing was black and white.\\\” Garbo herself, mesmerized by Delaunay\\\’s vibrant La femme à l\\\’ombrelle, would often remark of the canvas, \\\“It makes a dour Swede happy.\\\” If Garbo managed to enchant audiences via movement and gaze, so did the artists in her collection similarly capture the viewer through their pioneering use of brushwork and palette. \\\“Color,\\\” she enthused, \\\“is just the starting point. There is so much more.\\\” In fine art, Greta Garbo found a means of expression that continued long after her final appearance on the silver screen. Whether in the actress\\\’s legendary cinematic career or her more private world of spirited connoisseurship, Garbo enjoyed a truly remarkable life—an elegant vision entirely her own. \\\“You just have to look, and look, and look,\\\” she declared. \\\“That way, when you see something extraordinary, you just know.\\\” PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF GRETA GARBO Literature M. Jawlensky, L. Pieroni-Jawlensky and A. Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, 1914-1933, Bonn, 1992, vol. 2, p. 113, no. 733 (illustrated). Exhibited Cologne, Galerie Aenne Abels, A. Jawlensky, May 1958, no. 13 (illustrated). Bonn, Sta¨dtischen Kunstsammlungen, Gema¨lde von Alexej von Jawlensky, Gema¨lde und Zeichnungen von Adolf Ho¨lzel, September-October 1958, no. 33. Berlin, Haus am Waldsee, Alexej von Jawlensky, November-December 1958, no. 40 (illustrated).