Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink, Alexej von Jawlensky
Alexej von Jawlensky
Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink
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Alexej von Jawlensky

Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink, 1929

36.6 x 27.7 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas, mounted on cardboard
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1932 as a gift from Robert von Hirsch, withdrawn 1933, restituted 1964
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 15


About the Work

Dot, dot, comma, dash... Although the painting is reduced to a minimum as regards form, Jawlensky's 'Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink' and other such works are simple only at first sight. The artist, a member of the Blauer Reiter group, associated works of this kind with his search for a universally valid archaic image of the human face. Jawlensky began his series of 'Abstract Heads' in 1918. They comprise 251 works which alternate between abstraction and figuration. The deeply pious Russian saw himself as continuing in the tradition of Russian and Byzantine art and intentionally referenced icon paintings in his work.

About the Acquisition

When Robert von Hirsch (1883–1977) began to collect art at the age of twenty-four, his interest was in Impressionism and modern art. In the 1920s he began to include works by the Old Masters, such as Dürer, Raphael, Rubens and Rembrandt. His house in Bockenheimer Landstrasse was a popular meeting point for art lovers in Frankfurt, until von Hirsch emigrated to Basel in 1933. He continued to feel a close link with the Städel from his exile in Switzerland.

Audio & Video

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  • Focus on religion
Gastkommentar: Neuronale Netzwerke in der Kunst mit Hirnforscher Moritz Helmstaedter
Was sieht ein Hirnforscher in den Werken der Städel Sammlung? In diesem Gastkommentar eröffnet DR. Moritz Helmstaedter (Direktor und Wissenschaftliches Mitglied am Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung in Frankfurt) seine Sichtweise auf die Kunstwerke im Städel Museum. Er schaut sich Paul Cézannes "Landschaft. Straße mit Bäumen im Felsgebirge" (1870–1871), Alexej von Jawlenskys "Abstrakter Kopf: Sinfonie in Rosa" (1929) sowie Richard Oelzes "Archaisches Fragment" (1935) unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener neurowissenschaftlicher Wahrnehmungstheorien an. Mehr Infos unter: https://www.staedelmuseum.de/de/angebote/gastkommentar Die Werke in unserer Digitalen Sammlung Paul Cézanne, Landschaft. Straße mit Bäumen im Felsgebirge (1870–1871): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/landschaft-strasse-mit-baeumen-im-felsgebirge Alexej von Jawlensky, Abstrakter Kopf: Sinfonie in Rosa (1929): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/abstrakter-kopf-sinfonie-in-rosa Richard Oelze, Archaisches Fragment (1935): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/archaisches-fragment

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