13 Mar — 23 Aug 20
Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) and Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938) have entered the canon of art history as one of the pioneering artist couples of the avant-garde. With the founding of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München in 1909, from which Blue Rider would emerged two years later, they not only advanced modernism as the conceptual drive (Werefkin) and creative force (Jawlensky) of these associations, but also contributed significantly to the development of early 20th century art, both individually and as a couple. They were soulmates, connected by a relationship that was never simple, always highly complex, intense and interpersonal. In her memoirs, Lily Klee, wife of painter Paul Klee, characterized very aptly “their relationship,” which was “no marriage,” as “an erotically platonic friendship love.” They were life companions even beyond their years of partnership. Even today it is exceedingly difficult to determine precisely when the two were acquaintances, friends, lovers, partners or colleagues.
This exhibition, conceived in close cooperation between Museum Wiesbaden and Lenbachhaus Munich, traces the individual careers of both artists, putting them into relation with each other in the context of their perpetually changing private circumstances. Encompassing 190 works from national and international collections, the exhibit offers a rich panorama of these two closely interwoven artists’ lives that has never been shown before.
in cooperation with
Alexej von Jawlensky Archiv, Locarno, CH
Fondazione Marianne Werefkin, Ascona, CH