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Abstract Head: Life and Death, 1923

Alexei Jawlensky

Russian, 1864-1941
Oil and pencil on cardboard
16-3/4 x 12-7/8 in. (42.5 x 32.7 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
© Norton Simon Museum

Not on view

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.'"

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