Streifen. 1967. Oil on canvas. Scheibler 1221. Signed, dated and titled on the stretcher. 200 x 159 cm (78.7 x 62.5 in).
Works of this large size from the artist's late period of creation - unique in terms of concentration of form and brightness of colors - are very rare. Over the past ten years not a single work has been offered on the international auction market. (Source: artnet.com).
In Ernst Wilhelm Nay’s late period of creation many changes in comparison with earlier stages of his artistic development can be observed. What is particularly remarkable is the purificationof the pictures’ composition: Nay increasingly opts for a vertical arrangement of his works, which enables him to attain a new rhythm that he manages to tie in with the formal value of his earlier works with great mastery. Works from Nay’s last period of creation are characterized by a strong agglomeration of color and form, that culminates in a highest possible tension. In doing so Nay dares to reduce the use of stylistic elements to a minimum: Vertically arranged spindles, chains of knotted discs and graphicribbons set up in ever new combinations and with minimal alterations. The more time progresses, the clearer his style becomes. Reduction means freedom, the freedom to epitomize the nature if his art. This step goes hand in hand with a new palette. Afew select colors, most of them characterized by strong intensity and clear expressive value, underline the key meaning of Nay’s late work. Owing to the more fluid and more even color applicationhe attains a much stringer brilliance and transparency. The color ribbons in our composition are kept in the primary colors red, yellow, blue, their intensity increased through white and black elements. The primed canvas is used as style element, too, as its white surfaces add clarity to the composition. The depth effect is entirely abandoned in favor of a dynamic up-and-down movement. With its dynamic formsand clear colors, the painting is all in line with today’s prevailing aesthetics - even 50 years after it was made. [SM]