Feininger made this photograph of a musician when he was a student at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany, where his father, the well-known painter Lyonel, taught. The saxophonist, Xanti Schawinsky, was a fellow student at the Bauhaus who played in the school’s jazz band along with Feininger. In Feininger’s photograph, the sax assumes even greater prominence than Schawinsky, as it cuts boldly into and across the composition. Demonstrating the artist’s talent for experimentation and improvisation, the photograph evokes the feelings of newness, nonconformity, and self-expression that drew scores of listeners, especially young people, to jazz.
Inscription: Signed in ink on print, verso LC: "photo Lux Feininger"; inscribed in ink on print, verso C: "Xanti Schawinsky mit//dem neuen Saxophon//(1928)"; inscribed in ink on round paper label affixed to print, verso LL: "75"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso LL: "184.108.40.206-LORe"; inscribed in red wax pencil on print, verso LL: "x", "o"
Smith College Museum of Art. "Bauhaus Modern," September 26, 2008–December 17, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Thomas Hart Benton’s 'America Today' Mural Rediscovered," September 30, 2014–April 19, 2015.