Emil Nolde: The Splendour of Colour

Cat. Museum Frieder Burda

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Stiftung Frieder Burda and Manfred Reuther
texts (German/English) by Manfred Reuther, with an extensive and illustrated biography
192 p with 120 coloured illustrations
280 x 190 mm, hardcover with dustjacket

ISBN 978-3-86442-047-4

68,00 €

The Splendour of Colour

»The colours were a blessing to me. It was as if they loved my hands,« said Emil Nolde (1867–1956). This statement provides both the motto for the exhibition and the book to accompany the first comprehensive solo exhibition in Southern Germany in many years, which will take place at the Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden. The selected 58 oil paintings and 22 watercolours draw a representative cross-section through Nolde’s work. Alongside figurative representations and landscape paintings, as well as religious pictures and impressions of the trip to the South Seas, there are also scenes from Berlin nightlife alternating with dramatic seascapes and romantic observations from nature. The colours are particularly impressive, as are Nolde’s experiments with watercolour, of which Manfred Reuther, director of the Foundation Seebüll Ada and Emil Nolde for many years, curator of the exhibition, writes: »His watercolours are characterised by an extraordinary diversity. The very nature of painting with watercolours suited his pursuit of spontaneity and immediate expression. He painted with a fully soaked, heavy brush and used rapid, fluid movements; he tried primarily to shut out the inhibitory mind and follow instinct. The paintings veritably sprang out from irregularities, daubs and the random flow of the paint. It is the immediacy of the handcraft which the artist uses to grapple with the pictorial substance and thereby achieve a unity with the material.« Not least the success of this enormous feat of concentration made Emil Nolde one of the most important artists of German Expressionism. And then there’s the colour: »From the very start of his work as an artist,« Reuther states, »Nolde’s artistic development followed the path to colour as his actual means of expression, which he increasingly came to understand and handle most brilliantly.«

Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, 15/6–13/10/2013