By employing anonymous portraits to express the power and impact of colour, Jawlensky believed that ‘human faces are for me only suggestions to see something else in them – the life of colour, seized with a lover’s passion’ (quoted in Clemens Weiler, op. cit., 1971, p. 12). Another important influence on Jawlensky’s form of abstraction was the multi-dimensional approach of the Cubists, whose fragmented and highly abstracted compositions he had seen in Paris. As Clemens Weiler has noted: ‘Cubism, with which he became acquainted in 1910, supplied Jawlensky with the means of simplifying, condensing and stylizing the facial form even further, and this simplified and reduced shape he counterbalanced by means of even more intense and brilliant colouring. This enabled him to give these comparatively small heads a monumentality and expressive power that were quite independent of their actual size’ (ibid., p. 14).
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