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Summer Day in Ascona 1918/19 by Jawlensky.

(Kunsthaus Zurich)

Zurich's fine arts museum - the Kunsthaus - is staging the first-ever exhibition devoted to a key period in the career of one of the 20th century's most important modern artists, Alexej Jawlensky.

Entitled "Jawlensky in Switzerland 1914-1921", it covers the time spent by the Russian painter as an exile from his native country after the outbreak of the First World War.

This extraordinarily creative period played a decisive role in the evolution of his work.

It was in Saint-Prex by Lake Geneva, Zurich and Ascona in canton Ticino that he started painting his well-known series of variations of portraits and landscapes which were to lead him to the borders of abstraction.

While in Switzerland, Jawlensky came into contact with other painters who shared his views on art. He spent a year in Zurich when it was the headquarters of the Dada movement, founded by Hans Arp and other intellectuals who lived there.

Works by the Arp and his fellow Dadaists Hans Richter and Marcel Janco are also included in the exhibition, as well as paintings by other of Jawlensky's equally influential contemporaries, such as Paul Klee.

The exhibition ends on January 14.

swissinfo with agencies


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