woodcut print rendered in black pigment; seated male figure on right, wearing striped pants with arching, coiffed hair style; female figure on left, bare chested with long dark hair; PL arm raised, with PR arm outstretched, reaching for a circular object; wears skirt with circular shapes; stars scattered across a dark sky on top of the image

Mann und Weibchen, 1912

Not on Viewexpand_more

In this bold image, Expressionist Emil Nolde melds technique and subject as a means to escape the stifling regimentation Imperial Germany. Like several other artists of his time, his search for purity led him to so-called primitive cultures, here represented by two figures half-clothed in boldly-patterned cloth seated beneath a starry sky. Rather than carving supple lines, as he had been trained to do in his youth, Nolde hacked at the woodblock to give the image an uncivilized feel. This work thus taps into many issues currently debated in the art world: What is the role of exoticism' Who gets to work in what style to tell whose story' What is the role and limitation of the stereotype' How do we of the present deal with the art of the past'

Details
Title
Mann und Weibchen
Artist Life
1867–1956
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2019.34
Provenance
Private collection, Würtemberg, Germany; (Ketterer, Munich, December 9, 2017, lot 624, sold to Burns); (Catherine Burns Fine Art, Berkeley, California); sold to MIA, 2019.
Catalogue Raisonne
Schiefler-Mosel-Urban H iii/iii
Curator Approved

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woodcut print rendered in black pigment; seated male figure on right, wearing striped pants with arching, coiffed hair style; female figure on left, bare chested with long dark hair; PL arm raised, with PR arm outstretched, reaching for a circular object; wears skirt with circular shapes; stars scattered across a dark sky on top of the image