Schokko with a Red Hat
Alexej Jawlensky (Russian, 1864 - 1941)
1909. Oil on canvas, 29 3/4 x 27 7/8". 1991.001.020
Alexej Jawlensky resigned his position as an officer in the Russian army to become a painter. His style was influenced both by the brilliant colors of the Fauve painters and by the way actors in the theater transform themselves using makeup, costumes, and lighting. Here is a portrait of an exotically costumed model with a fan. Her yellow-green face appears as it might look under stage lighting and is complemented and intensified by the surrounding reds. “Schokko” (the model’s nickname because she loved hot chocolate) radiates a powerfully artificial and theatrical presence.