Ernst Wilhelm Nay

19 October 2018 – 3 March 2019

Ernst Wilhelm Nay (1902-1968) is considered one of the most independent representatives of post-war abstract painting. Still defamed by the Nazis as a young artist, he was honored several times at biennial and documenta exhibitions after the Second World War. With more than 20 paintings and illustrations, our collection houses a representative collection of his works, a selection of which and the loan of a "Late Painting" will be on display in the Info Room from October 19 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the artist's death.

Nay's consistent development, proceeding in striking sequences, always places the "gestalt value of color" at the center. Until the 1940s, the proximity to the Fauves and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's representational signs and violent application of color is still noticeable. Subsequently, the representational references recede more and more into the background and Nay finds his very special artistic idiom, which is characterized by a rhythmic interlocking of colored discs (1954-1962). These sometimes sound together in delicately modulated, monochromatic fugues, at other times the pictorial space seems to explode in a luminous, festive firework of color. After the "Scheibenbildern" and the "Augenbildern" (Eye Pictures), the widening pictorial space in the "Späte Bilder" (Late Pictures) (from 1965) is undulated by color-intensive waves and stripes.