Abstract Head: Life and Death

Abstract Head: Life and Death
Artist:
Alexei Jawlensky (Russian, 1864-1941)
Date:
1923  
Medium:
Oil and pencil on cardboard 
Dimensions:
16-3/4 x 12-7/8 in. (42.5 x 32.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection 
Accession Number:
P.1953.078 
Copyright:
© Norton Simon Museum 
Not on View
Description

Many writers have noted Jawlensky's progressively religious concentration upon the human face during the last twenty years of his life. He expressed this spiritualized conception of humanity in a letter written in June 1938: "I knew that great art should only be painted with religious feeling. And that was something I could bring only to the human face. I realized that the artist must express...that within him which is divine. That is why the work of art is a visible God, and why art is 'a longing for God.'"

Provenance:

The artist, to;
[Neue Galerie Fides, Dresden];
Galka Scheyer, probably by 1923;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

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