abstract watercolor in bright hues; red/purple UR; green/red UL; blue/purple LL; brown/yellow LR

© Ernst Wilhelm Nay

Composition, 1958

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Ernst Nay ranks among the most famous post–World War II (1939–45) artists in Germany, yet his work is just beginning to receive serious recognition in the English-speaking world—the first English-language book about Nay appeared only in 2012. As a young man, he was a rising star among progressive artists. But when the Nazis came to power he was branded a “degenerate” artist and forbidden to exhibit. Drafted into the army, Nay continued to paint in secret in the studio of a friendly French sculptor. After the war, he and his art became symbols of a new Germany, and he represented his country in major international exhibitions. Composition reveals Nay’s interest in two French artistic trends: tachisme (painting with spontaneous dabs of color) and art informel (art that does not record existing or premeditated forms).

Details
Title
Composition
Artist Life
German, 1902-1968
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.93.188
Provenance
[John A. Torson, New York, and Art Lending Service, MOMA, New York; sold to Andrus]; John E. Andrus III, Wayzata, Minn.; by descent to his daughters, Elizabeth, Katie, and Julie; gave to MIA, 2015. Earlier provenances have been gathered, but further research will increase our knowledge of their histories.
Curator Approved

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abstract watercolor in bright hues; red/purple UR; green/red UL; blue/purple LL; brown/yellow LR

© Ernst Wilhelm Nay

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