Marianne Werefkin, Castello sul Mediterraneo, in Italia – Tempera e olio su pannello, 1925/1932
Colours of a travelling soul.
10 OCTOBER TO 10 DECEMBER 2016
Via Pedemonte di Sopra 1, 6818 Melano CH
Monday to Saturday, from 10 to 18.
«For our seventh exhibitions, we have chosen Marianne Werefkin, not only because she is an artist so closely tied to our territory but also, this year, we have dedicated to the women in the art world. Her biography is an example of the representation of the difficulties of being a woman and an artist at the same time in the beginning of last century. Besides much of the charisma and the talent of Werefkin, she has only recently started to occupy her rightful place in the art history books. Patrizia Cattaneo Moresi, Director of Artrust
The exhibition traces the career of Marianne Werefkin through forty of her works, some of which have never before been exhibited in public. They represent different stages of her life as well as her travelling to Russia, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Also in the exhibition, artworks of Werefkin’s partner, the painter Alexej Jawlensky, can be seen.
Marianne Werefkin in her atelier in Ascona, while painting “Les masques du village”, 1925 – Private collection
Werefkin Marianne was born on September 10th, 1860 in Tula, Russia, from a family of noble origins. Her innate artistic talent was immediately recognized and encouraged by her parents. In 1885, she moved to St. Petersburg to take lessons from the greatest realist Russian painter Ilya Repin. Under his guidance, she reached such perfection in realist painting, which earned her the nickname “Russian Rembrandt”.
In 1892, she met for the first time Alexej Jawlensky, the man who will shaped not only her lives, but also her artistic career. In 1896, following to her father’s death, she moved with Jawlensky to Munich, in Germany. Their apartment soon became a meeting place for painters, musicians, dancers, writers and intellectuals of all kinds: an artistic salon, where Werefkin is the perfect entertainer.
In Munich, they became closed to Kandinsky and his partner, Gabriele Münter. Jawlensky founded with them in 1909, the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM, New Artists Association of Monaco) that in 1911 will evolve into the Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).
Expelled from Germany at the outbreak of World War I, she was forced to seek refuge in Switzerland. In 1918, she moved to Ascona: Abandoned by Jawlensky and in economic difficulties (she had lost Tsarist pension inherited from her father as a result of the October Revolution), she found solidarity and unexpected support from its inhabitants, which she reciprocated with an active commitment in the cultural life of the town.
She passed away in Ascona, in 1938, where her remains still lie. At her funeral, celebrated in Orthodox and Catholic ritual, was participated by the entire population of the village.
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