Ernst Wilhelm Nay in Ketterer Kunst's Anniversary Auction
Ernst Willhelm Nay
Mit gotischem Rot, 1963
Oil on canvas. 110 x 100 cm
€ 250,000-350,000
Munich, May 06, 2019 (KK) - Ernst Wilhelm Nay's high-class oil painting "Mit gotischem Rot" is both timeless and at the same time highly topical. It is one of the first works from the renowned group of the "Augenbilder" and will be called up as one of the top lots in the Evening Sale as part of the 65th Anniversary Auction at Ketterer Kunst in Munich on June 7.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay's "Mit gotischem Rot" was shown at important solo exhibitions from an early point on. Already in 1963 it made it into the acclaimed Galerie Günter Franke in Munich, just a year later it was at Michael Knoedler in Paris and New York.

It was during the 1960ies that the artist's pictorial expressiveness took a new and fascinating turn. The famous superimposed discs with lines and grids led to associations with the human eye, and thus the work group of the so-called "Augenbilder" (Eye Pictures) was born.

At its first exhibitions "Mit gotischem Rot" was still titled "Vierung" (Crossing), a term that describes the intersection of transept and central nave in church architecture. Other early paintings from this work period are called "Vierfalt in Rot", "Vierfalt - Blau" and "Vierklang". The interplay of four forms and colors was varied in those four paintings from 1963, however "Mit gotischem Rot" is the first work in which the superimposed black and white lines lead to the visual effect characteristic of the "Augenbilder". Despite the strong colors, the four disc-shaped color fields with the slightly suggested eye filling rather remain in the background, as they are dominated by a rhythm in black and white. An eye rendered in strong brushstrokes hovers at the pictures's center, or at the crossing.

In the following year 1964 Ernst Wilhelm Nay mounted huge Eye Pictures below the ceiling at Documenta III, thus expressing the important architectural-spatial aspects of his concept. The eyes, as mirrors of the soul also raise associations with archetypal symbols, now look down from above and even increase their effect on the observer.

"Mit gotischem Rot" is a fascinating work and a real rarity on the auction market. With its virtuoso execution it is a wonderful document of dynamics and modernity, that will not only arouse the interest of established collectors but also appeal to a younger audience.

Apart from two other works by Ernst Wilhelm Nay with estimates in six-digit realms, the Anniversary Auction includes fascinating works by among others the following artists: Willi Baumeister, Joseph Beuys, Jonas Burgert, John Chamberlain, Tony Cragg, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Wojciech Fangor, Günter Fruhtrunk, Gotthard Graubner, Erich Heckel, Karl Hofer, Alexej von Jawlensky, Vassily Kandinsky, Anish Kapoor, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, El Lissitzky, August Macke, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter, Emil Nolde, Daniel Richter, Gerhard Richter, Christian Rohlfs, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Cy Twombly, Günther Uecker, Victor Vasarely, Andy Warhol and Herbert Zangs (see separate press releases).

07-09 May   Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie   Rämistrasse 18, 8001 Zurich*, CH
13/14 May   Ketterer Kunst   Holstenwall 5, 20355 Hamburg*
17-20 May   Ketterer Kunst   Malkastenstr. 11, 40211 Düsseldorf*
24-30 May   Ketterer Kunst   Fasanenstr. 70, 10719 Berlin*
01-07 June  Ketterer Kunst   Joseph-Wild-Str. 18, 81829 Munich**
* selected works ** all works

Auction in Munich
07 June      Limited Editions * Evening Sale *
08 June      Young Collectors * Modern Art * Post War * Contemporary Art

The family company Ketterer Kunst ( and, with headquarters in Munich and branches in Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Berlin and the USA, was founded in 1954. It is one of the leading European houses for auctions of Fine Art from the 19th to the 21st Century and Rare Books. The latest art market review for Fine Art 2018, compiled by, ranks Ketterer Kunst on place 16 in the global TOP 100. The auctioneer's clientele predominantly consists of international collectors, art dealers, curators and museums.

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