post-title Emil Nolde | A German Legend – The Artist in National Socialism | Hamburger Bahnhof | until 15.09.2019

Emil Nolde | A German Legend – The Artist in National Socialism | Hamburger Bahnhof | until 15.09.2019

Emil Nolde | A German Legend – The Artist in National Socialism | Hamburger Bahnhof | until 15.09.2019

Emil Nolde | A German Legend – The Artist in National Socialism | Hamburger Bahnhof | until 15.09.2019

Until mid-September 2019, the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum is showing the exhibition “Emil Nolde. Eine deutsche Legende – Der Künstler im Nationalsozialismus” (> Emil Nolde. A German Legend – The Artist in National Socialism).

The Expressionist Emil Nolde is probably the most famous ‘degenerate artist’: no other artist confiscated so many works, no other works hung so prominently on the first stages of the exhibition Degenerate Art of 1937/38. How do Nolde’s ostracism and his professional ban fit in with our knowledge that he was a member of the Nazi party and did not lose faith in the National Socialist regime until the end of the war? The art critic Adolf Behne took Nolde’s special case seriously by trenchantly calling him a “degenerate ‘degenerate'” on his 80th birthday in 1947.

ART-at-Berlin---Hamburger-Bahnhof---Emil-Nolde 1937 - Foto Helga Fietz
Emil Nolde in Munich, January/February 1937.
Photo by Helga Fietz, the wife of Nolde’s art dealer in Munich
Günther Franke,
Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

It has long been known that Emil Nolde was a party member. But what this has to do with his art, and how the historical circumstances of National Socialism have affected his work, has never before been comprehensively examined in an exhibition.

The exhibition “Emil Nolde – A German Legend. The Artist in National Socialism” is based on the results of a long-term scientific research project, which for the first time was able to evaluate the extensive holdings of the Nolde legacy in Seebüll and in doing so brought to light so many new things that the traditional Nolde narrative had to be revised. For example, the exhibition will present the famous “Unpainted Paintings” – small-format watercolors that Nolde allegedly painted secretly in Seebüll during the time of his professional ban – in a completely new light and explain them as part of a long-standing practice of self-stylization.

ART-at-Berlin---Nolde Stiftung Seebuell---Emil-Nolde---Reife-Sonnenblumen 1932
Emil Nolde, Reife Sonnenblumen, 1932, Oil on Canvas, 73,5 × 89 cm,
Detroit Institute of Arts, Gift of Robert H. Tannahill,
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

ART-at-Berlin---Nolde Stiftung Seebuell---Emil-Nolde 1921---Foto Elke Walford Dirk Dunkelberg
Emil Nolde, Verlorenes Paradies, 1921 Oil on Canvas, 106,5 × 157 cm,
Nolde Stiftung Seebüll,
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, Photo: Fotowerkstatt Elke Walford, Hamburg, and Dirk Dunkelberg, Berlin

How important this self-stylization is – and how strongly it influences our view of Nolde – is demonstrated to visitors by a reconstruction of the Bildersaal in Nolde’s Atelierhaus in Seebüll. This reconstruction shows the hanging of paintings and watercolours, as the old artist did himself in the war winter of 1941/42. With over 100 originals, some of which have not been shown before, presented with reference to Nolde’s writings and in the context of their historical origins, the exhibition aims to demonstrate the multi-layered relationships between images, the artist’s self-dramatization, ostracism, and the formation of legends: How did the ‘Third Reich’ affect Emil Nolde’s artistic work? To what extent do some of his works, such as his depictions of mythical sacrificial scenes or Nordic people, correspond with his sympathies for the regime? What effects did the defamation and prohibition of his profession have on Nolde’s artistic practice, and on his political attitude? And how did the Nolde myths of the post-war period emerge?

ART-at-Berlin---Emil Nolde - Nolde Stiftung Seebuell - Entartete Kunst Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels at the exhibition “Entartete Kunst” (> Degenerated Art) in Berlin, February 1938, left: “Die Sünderin”,
© Zentralarchiv – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, © for the artworks of Emil Nolde at Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

ART-at-Berlin---Emil Nolde - Staatl Museen zu Berlin - Nolde Stiftung Sebuell - EntarteteKunst
“Das Leben Christi” (1911/12) at the exhibition “Entartete Kunst” (> Degenerated Art) in Berlin, from 26 February 1938,
© Zentralarchiv – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, © for the artworks of Emil Nolde at Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

The exhibition will take place in the so-called “Neue Galerie”. The “Neue Galerie” in the Hamburger Bahnhof will function as a branch for the Neue Nationalgalerie during its renovation.

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart Berlin – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

WHERE? Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten

WHEN? Tue, Wed, Fri 10–18 Uhr, Thu 10–20 Uhr, Sat, So 11–18 Uhr, Mon closed

www.emilnoldeinberlin.de

Zum Hamburger Bahnhof

 

Emil Nolde – Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart Berlin | Exhibitions Contemporary Art Museum Berlin – ART at Berlin

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