Cabinet

Nolde

SERIES OF EXHIBITIONS

 

Nolde
Cabinet 1
FLOWERS, LANDSCAPES AND SEAS

The intensely colourful watercolors with flowers, landscapes and seas depict Seebüll just as one can still experience it today. The flower garden which still glows with colour all summer was laid out by Emil Nolde himself and insoired him, with red poppies and yellow sunflowers for example, in many of his works on paper. In his watercolours you can also recognize the barren marsh landscape around Seebüll, with ist low-lying horizon and dramatically wide skies. The rough North Sea only a few kilometres away with ist often-stormy waters was captured by Nolde in variations with countless moods: breakers, choppy open sea, high waves, and the interplay of clouds overhead in shifting colours – sometimes radiant, but sometimes also subdued. Nolde´s watercolours with flowers, landscapes and seas are expressions of his intense ovservation of nature, combineed with deep emotions and a great respect towards the elemental natural forces in their most primal form.

Nolde
Kabinett
Rosa Bauernrose, violette
Mohnblüten und drei Paare,
Aquarell © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Nolde

 

Cabinet 2
ADA – “THE MOST CAPABLE”

 
Ada and Emil Nolde entered into the bond of marriage on February 25, 1902 in Copenhagen. With her widding vow, Ada devoted herself fully to her spouse and his world. Nolde lived in the firm conviction that any person who did not understand his work could not be his friend. This held in particular for his beloved, as was once formulated in a letter by his friend Emmi Walther: „[…], only she who can subordinate everything, everything, in life to her husband’s art, she alone ist the most capable.“ In an almost symbiotic bond, Ada and Emil dedicated themselbes unswervingly to Nolde´s art. In this, Ada proved tob e a thoroughly charming and shrewd facilitator with a strategic flair. From their letters to one another speaks an unshakable love, and in times of physical separation every line was anticipated with painful longing. Until her death in 1946, Ada was Emil´s beloved, his muse and manager, and his equal partner. Ada, „the monst capable“, celebrated her 140th birthday in 2019.
Nolde
Kabinett
Bildnis Ada Nolde, Aquarell
Neuerwerbung 2018
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Nolde

 

Cabinet 3
THE PAINTER´S CERAMICS

 
A part of Expressionism´s attitude towards life was that art and life should merge into a single unit, and so Emil Nolde also turned his attention to ceramics. In 1930, he painted a series of precast plates. They mainly illustrate dance scenes, but there is also a gazelle, polar bears and a horse, as well as a wild man. Other items he made include ceramic tiles and ceramic reliefs: two female dancers with whirling hair and short skirts against an ornamental background of plants. Nolde always produced numerous versions in different colours, and achieved new results by varying the strength of his colour applications. He exhibited the ceramics, and sold them to museums and private collectors. He also created vases, jugs bowls and a flower pot solely for personal use. They are unique pieces, which Nolde painted with botanical motifs. They are still in Seebüll today: „The vases were kept by my Ada; filled with flowers they accompany us through our lives – the bowls too. We loved beautiful objects.“
Nolde
Kabinett
Zwei Tänzerinnen, Reliefkeramik
1913 © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Nolde

 

Cabinet 4
BERLIN – “MANY PLEASURES FOR THE EYES WERE EVERYWHERE”

 
Emil Nolde divided his life into lonely summers of painting in Seebüll, and a socially active winter life in Berlin. In 1910/11 he created a series of works about big-city life; „[…] we went to masked balls, to the cabarets, tot he `Ice Palace` skating rink. And then off to the public houses, where powder-pale and corpse-scented impotent asphalt lions and hectic demimonde ladies sat in their elegantm daring gowns, as worn by queens. […] I drew and drew, the light oft he rooms, the surface tinsel, alle the people – whether corrupt or proper, whether demi-monde or completely depraved; I drew this reverse side of life with ist make-up, with ist slimy filth and ist decay. Many pleasures for the eyes were everywhere.“ He also sensed the „artistic best“, whether in Max Reinhardt´s ´Deutsches Theater´, where he recorded famous actor Albert Bassermann as ´Mephistopheles in Auerbachs Keller´, or in Expressionist dance, where he first discovered Mary Wigman and Gret Palucca.
Nolde
Kabinett
Tänzerin (rotes Kleid),
Aquarell, Berlin 1910/11
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Nolde

 

Cabinet 5
THE ´UNPAINTED PICTURES´

 
The ´Unpainted Pictures´ capticate onlookers with the glowing power of their colours and their richly imaginative character. The series comprises over 1,300 small-format watercolours, which were intended to serve as studies for paintings. They were only made public later, and were closely tied to Emil Noldes´s role as victim oft he ´Third Reich´. Present-day research has debunked that myth; The ´painting prohibition´ turned out tob e a ´ban from the profession´, which nonetheless is still a difficult fate. The prohibition on exhibiting and on selling, as well as the denial of ration coupons necessary to obtain painting materials, deprived the artist of curcial basic requirements. Similarly, the production period for the ´Unpainted Pictures´ can be clearly determined today as having been prior tot he 1941 ban from the profession. From Nolde’s second wife Jolanthe we know that even after the war only very insistent requests would induce him to produce the little sheets for viewing. Let the myth be debunked. The ´Unpainted Pictures´ do not need the aura of a legend. In their direct presence, their virtuosity is overpowering.
Nolde
Kabinett
„Glückliche Familie”,
Aquarell © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Nolde

 

Cabinet 6
HALLIG HOOGE – “VERY EXTRAORDINARY LITTLE SKETCHES”

 
Over the Easter weekend in 1919, Emil Nolde travelled to Hallig Hooge. Solitude and loneliness allowed him to reassess his oeuvre, and let him work intensively and undisturbed. A significant characteristic oft he roughly 75 Hooge watercolours ist he interplay of watercolour paint, reed pen and drawing ink. While the pictorial compositions are suggested by colour planes and colour gradients, allowing one to suspect a theme, they are still highly abstract. Only the black contour illustrates the motif, but still retains ist ambiguity. It generally does not encompass the entire figure, but rather just parts of figures, thus strengthening the dynamic of movement. The motifs range from dance scenes, nude figures, and performances by actors, all the way to freely invented fantastical and grotesque creatues. The reoccurring central theme ist he relationsship between people, generally man and wife. The Hooge watercolours correspond in character to the´Unpainted Pictures´, which were created much later – a connection that Nolde himself declared.
Nolde
Kabinett
„Blumenfreund”, Aquarell,
Hallig Hooge 1919
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Nolde

 

Studio
The religious paintings: ‘Not to have God before me […], but God within me, firey and holy like the love of Christ.’

 
The religious pictures are among Emil Nolde’s most important and simultaneously most controversial works. By his estimate, he created the first painting of this series in 1909, and in 1911/12 he produced the major work of the series with the nine-piece “Life of Christ”. The central panel alone, “Crucifixion”, is the largest painting in Nolde’s entire oeuvre.  In order to exhibit this preeminent work in Nolde’s former “workshop”, the floor was lowered about a metre and the north window bricked up. In his “biblical and legend pictures”, as Nolde called this group of works, he did not consider himself bound to an exact rendition of a biblical event or ecclesiastical dogma. In complete artistic freedom he portrayed a personal, fantastical event, that he experienced as “inwardly glowing” deep within himself.
Nolde
Kabinett
„Anbetung der Könige“,
Gemälde 1933 © Nolde
Stiftung Seebüll

Nolde