Alexej von Jawlensky
Catalogue (in German and italian)
Alexej von Jawlensky in Ascona
‘… the three most interesting years of my life …’
Curated by Cristina Sonderegger
The exhibition traces the period that the Russian artist Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) spent in Ticino. One of the founders of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München and a member of Der Blaue Reiter, Jawlensky left Germany in haste when the First World War broke out in 1914. He came to Ascona after first settling in Saint-Prex, where he encountered artists like Ferdinand Hodler and Cuno Amiet, then Zurich, where he frequented members of the Dada movement. But it was the time he spent in the Ticino town, from 1918 to 1921, that really made a mark on Jawlensky’s artistic career. Struck by the landscapes and the Mediterranean quality of the light, the artist did his last landscape work here before turning his attention almost exclusively to depicting the human face, and that of Christ, in a highly mystical style. It was therefore on the shores of Lake Maggiore that he consolidated his personal practice: the bright hues and marked lines of Expressionism meeting the simplified forms and transparent colours of abstract art.