Sale: 534 / Contemporary Art Day Sale, Dec. 09. 2022 in Munich Lot 171

 

171
Ernst Wilhelm Nay
Ohne Titel, 1958.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 25,000 / $ 23,000
Sold:
€ 56,250 / $ 51,750

(incl. surcharge)
Ohne Titel. 1958.
Watercolor.
Claesges 58-017. Signed and dated in lower right. On firm paper. 41.7 x 60 cm (16.4 x 23.6 in), size of sheet.

• A both radiant yet airy example from Nay's most significant period of creation, the "Scheibenbilder" (Disc Pictures).
• Family-owned for 50 years.
• For the first time on the international auction market (artprice.com)
• Watercolors from this year are in possession of, among others, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Kunsthalle Bremen (Kupferstichkabinett), the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the State Graphic Collections Munich and the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum & Papiermuseum in Düren
.

We are grateful to Dr. Magdalene Claesges and Brigitte Schlüter, Ernst Wilhelm Nay Foundation Cologne, for the kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Frankfurt a. Main (acquired from the artist).
Private collection Hesse.
Art trader Dr. Ewald Rathke, Frankfurt a.Main.
Private collection Frankfurt (acquired from the above in 1972).
Private collection North Rhine-Westphalia (inherited from the above in 1994).

The famous "Scheibenbilder" (Disk Pictures) were created between 1954 and 1962, they are considered the peak of Ernst Wilhelm Nay's artistic career. At the same time, this creative period probably was the most intensive one within his entire oeuvre. It is in the watercolors from this period that Ernst Wilhelm Nay was particularly committed to the examination of the pictorial ground, which in the present work underscores the lightness of the composition. Starting from a clearly outlined black dot in the center of the sheet, the colors evolve in very dynamic disk shapes. This sheet shows how Ernst Wilhelm Nay attained a freer, more diffuse brushwork in this important creative phase, and how he arranges the composition exclusively with partly spotted, colored circles and arc formations - completely without the usual strict crescent shapes or precise contours. The color is not forced into a certain form by following art historical models, observing formal rules or artistic schemes. Instead it is allowed to speak for itself in these freely set circles, semicircles and surfaces of varying sizes. Once again, the artist testifies to his extraordinary artistic sovereignty in dealing with color, technique and material when he combines the cool blue and turquoise (as cold colors) with orange, terracotta and green (as warm colors) to create an extremely harmonious and airy color landscape. [EH]



171
Ernst Wilhelm Nay
Ohne Titel, 1958.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 25,000 / $ 23,000
Sold:
€ 56,250 / $ 51,750

(incl. surcharge)