Mario Naves reviews Alexei Jawlensky at the Neue Galerie, New York, on view through May 29, 2017.
Naves notes: “Though Jawlensky tilted towards abstraction, he never completely abandoned representation. The splotchy landscapes displayed at the center of the exhibition test the limits of recognizability even as Jawlensky continues to hold onto things—hillocks and trees, clouds and sky. Jawlensky’s debt to Kandinsky is patent, particularly in the jewel-like colors and brusque application of oils. Too much of a debt, perhaps. Strolling through ‘Alexei Jawlensky,’ other painters are recalled so vividly that one can’t help but wonder how Jawlensky’s pictures would hold up in the company of his Blaue Reiter colleagues or simpatico figures like Marsden Hartley, Paul Klee, and Robert Delaunay.”