Friday, August 28, 2015

Portraits of Women - The evolution of American artist Alfred Henry Maurer's (1868-1932) images of women


Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Girl In White 1901

Alfred Henry Maurer (1868–1932) became an early American modernist painter. Maurer was born in New York City, the son of German-born Louis Maurer, a lithographer for Currier and Ives. At age 16, Maurer quit school to work at his father's lithographic firm.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) An Arrangement 1901

In 1897, after studying with the sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward and painter William Merritt Chase, Maurer left for Paris where he stayed the next 4 years, joining a circle of American & French artists. At the time, Maurer's style was realist.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) The Black Cape c 1901

Briefly returning to New York, determined to show his skeptical father that he could paint, Maurer painted one of his most famous paintings "An Arrangement," using a woman next door as a model & completing the work (on a borrowed piece of cardboard) in a matter of hours. His painting An Arrangement, received first prize at the 1901 Carnegie International Exhibition.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Lady with a Japanese Fan

At 36, in Paris, deviating from what everyone called "acceptable" painting styles, Maurer changed his methods sharply & painted only in the cubist and fauvist manner, at the risk of his international reputation.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Woman With a Pink Bow

"The transition from the old school to the new is not an easy one ... When I decided to make the change, I had to lay aside my brushes for almost a month and think nothing but Impressionism. Then I went at it slowly and timidly, feeling my way. I am still in transition, I know. I can’t tell what tomorrow will bring about." - Alfred Maurer stated in a 1908 New York Times article.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Landscape of Provence c 1920

As an emerging, early American avant-garde painter in 1909, he had a two-man exhibition with John Marin in New York City. Four of his paintings were included in the Armory Show of 1913.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Head of a Woman

Leaving Paris shortly before World War I, he returned to his father's house only to be denied support. For the next 17 years Maurer painted in a garret in his father's house & was able to gain no critical acclaim.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Head 1920

An early American modernist, he was friends with many avant-garde American artists like Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin & others until his death in 1932. Maurer took his own life by hanging several weeks after his father's death.

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Two Heads with Yellow Background 1929

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Head of a Girl 1929

Alfred Henry Maurer (American painter, 1868-1932) Portrait of a Girl with a Gray Background c 1930


Portraits of Women - The Evolution of Williem de Kooning's 1904-1997 images of women

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1940 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Seated Woman


1940 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1941 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Portrait of Elaine



1943 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman Sitting



1944 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Pink Lady



1945 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Pink Angels



1948 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1949 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1949-50 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, 1904-1997) Woman



1950 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1950 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman, Wind, and Window II



1950 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1950-52 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, 1904-1997) The Woman



1951 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1952 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Seated Woman



1952 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Two Women IV



1952 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman II



1953 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman V



1953 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman VI



1954 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Two Women in the Country



1964 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman in a rowboat



1964 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997), Sag Harbor



1964-65 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, 1904-1997) Woman



1965 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Woman



1966 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, from 1904 to 1997) Women Singing



1966-67 Willem de Kooning (American artist born in the Netherlands, 1904-1997) The Visit


Williem de Kooning Woman with V



Portraits of Women - The Evolution of Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) images of women



 1902 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Young Woman with Lilacs

Alexej von Jawlensky was born in Russia. At the age of ten he moved with his family to Moscow. After a few years of military training, he became interested in painting, visiting the Moscow World Exposition c. 1880. Thanks to his good social connections, he managed to get himself posted to St. Petersburg and, from 1889 to 1896, studied at the art academy there, while also discharging his military duties.


 1909 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Inclined Head

I was taken to see the 1880 World Exhibition in Moscow (in 1880, ed.). I found it all very boring. But when I came to a section devoted to art – there were only paintings, and this was the first time of my life (16 years old) I had seen paintings – I was so deeply affected that it was a case of Saul becoming Paul. It was the turning point of my life. Even since then art has been my ideal, my holy of holies, that for which my entire soul and my entire self yearn.


 1910 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Dark Blue Turban



 1910 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Helene in Colord Turban



 1910 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Lady in Yellow Staw Hat

In the spring of 1911 Marianne von Werefkin (his study-mate in Russia and his art muse for 15 years, ed.) Andrei, Helene and I went to Prerow on the Baltic. For me that summer meant a great step forward in my art. I painted my finest landscapes there as well as large figure paintings in powerful, glowing colours and not at all naturalistic or objective. I used a great deal of red, blue, orange, cadmium yellow and chromium-oxide green. My forms were very strongly contoured in Prussian blue, and came with tremendous power from an inner ecstasy. ‘der Buckel’, ‘Violetter Turban’, ‘Selbstporträt’…were created in this way. It was a turning-point in my art. It was in these years, up to 1914, just before the war, that I painted my most powerful works, referred to as the pre-war works.


 1911 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Spanish Woman



 1911 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Violet Turban



 1912 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Blue Cap



 1913 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Earth



 1913 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Woman with Black Hair



 1916 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Dreaming Head



 1916 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Neoplitan Girl

At first I intended to carry on working in St. Prex (in Switzerland, around 1914 – 1915, fh) in the same way I had been working in Munich. But something inside me prevented me from painting colourful, sensuous pictures. Suffering had changed my soul, telling me to find other forms and colours to express what was on my mind.


 1916 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Woman from St Prex



 1917 Alexej Georgewitsch von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Mystical Head Yellow Mouth within Violet 

I painted these ‘Variations’ for some years and then I found it necessary to find form for the face, because I had come to understand that great art can only be painted with religious feeling. And that, I could only bring to the human face. I understood that the artist must express through his art, in forms and colours, the divine in him. Therefore a work of art is God made visible and art is "a longing for God."


 1917 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Mystical Head

In a letter to his brother Dimitri, probably around 1917/18, the artist wrote, I am now mainly painting faces and landscapes; I am obsessed day and night by the vision of faces and colors. And the spiritual vision is my mystical world.



1917 Alexej von Jawlensky (Russian artist, 1864-1941) Mystical Head