Kandinsky & Jawlensky in Long Beach
|Vasily Kandinsky, Points, 1935. Long Beach Museum of Art
The Long Beach Museum of Art has organized a rare showing of its works by Vasily Kandinsky and Alexj Jawlensky. All are from the bequest of Milton Wichner, Harvard-trained attorney to dealer Galka Schreyer, who represented both artists. The attorney had no connection to Long Beach or its small seaside museum, however. It was only after Wichner's 1978 death that Eva Mason, his accountant and executor, selected LBMA for the bequest of 61 artworks. They were (and remain) notable outliers in a modest collection.
As at the Norton Simon Museum (which now holds Schreyer's personal collection), there's a high Jawlensky to Kandinsky ratio, when one might have hoped for the opposite. Jawlensky died impoverished, with a lot of unsold inventory from all phases of his career. He was branded a degenerate by Hitler and a has-been by the art market. You either love or hate his paintings of abstract faces, chicly androgynous and sometimes identified as Christ. I've more affection for his Fauve-inspired still lifes and landscapes.
"Jawlensky, Kandinsky: The Milton Wichner Collection" runs through Oct. 2, 2022.
|Alexj Jawlensky, Winter Ringing, 1828
|Vasily Kandinsky, Drawing in Color (watercolor and ink), 1928
|Alexj Jawlensky, Still Life, about 1916
|Vasily Kandinsky, An Arabesque, 1938