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The whole issue of the face is central to the work of Alexei von Jawlensky (1846-1941), this Russian painter who emigrated to Germany. His work hovers between figurative and abstract representation of the face and offers another viewpoint on modernity. How is it that a contemporary painter managed to devote virtually all of his production to the face? How could he choose for his work's paradigm such a traditional form as the icon? Jawlensky exemplifies the artist who participated in modernity without belonging to it and experienced the frontiers between genres. His artistic quest achieved an impossibility: the abstract face.
Itzhak Goldberg, Professor Emeritus, University Jean Monnet, St. Etienne, France.