extended until 28.07. | #2108ARTatBerlin | Aurel Scheibler currently presents the exhibition Line and Color with works by the artists Norbert Kricke and Ernst Wilhelm Nay.
Line and color, area and space occupied two of the outstanding artists of the second half of the 20th century in Germany. One of them developed a new idea for sculpture from the line, turning the line sculpture into a poetic symbol of space and time, of space-time. The Other, giving color the primacy for the design of the surface and with its late, “elemental images” meant the end of modernity.
The urge to be nameless, to lay a mere trace that is unlike anything and does not seem to remind us of anything, is characteristic of Norbert Kricke (1922-1984) since the early 1950s. His step from the physical to the simple, elemental and at the same time ambiguous is radical. He discovers the line that is no longer in the service of plastic volumes. The line itself, in its unboundedness, becomes a plastic medium. In his own words: “Line: form of movement, movement: form of time, never as a limitation of surface, never as a contour of bodies – always as a space-showing phenomenon, as openness.”
The color has influenced the image of the work Ernst Wilhelm Nays (1902-1968) in the general consciousness as exclusively as hardly a German artist. In our exhibition, however, Nay is shown as an artist of the line with drawings from the 1950s / 1960s, which do without any color. Nay’s drawing knows no peace. It is always a transformation of a moving, which mobilizes the dormant surface.
The leaves that were created in the 1950s reveal Nay’s implementation of musical stimulation of that time in rhythmically set ink lines: straight lines with abrupt changes of direction and dynamic strokes of the brush cover the sheets, while smaller brushstrokes set their tone like notations. Pencil drawings of 1960/61 reveal rotation of a graphic gearbox. Narrow spiral coils make the resilient expansion of the discs visible, the imbalance within the circular unit, conurbations face empty zones such as energy quanta. The late felt-tip pen drawings from 1966 to 1968 make a change from musical to formal. The line flows, which limit the erected figural series, may be soft and supple, pointed and retrograde, circling around islands or formed into a delta. Not infrequently, extreme opposites on one sheet find unity. Werner Haftmann has described her as a “Lebensarabesken”. Only in these last pages does something fate break with shattering psychograms. The rarest thing that can only be found in drawings such as Klee, Kirchner, Wols, and which is suggested in Kricke’s late sculptures, is the denomination of the existence thrown back on itself.
A comparison of Norbert Kricke’s colored sculptures from the 1950s to the 1980s with the linear drawings by Nay is a long-cherished concern and can be seen here for the first time. It shows both artists who pursue very different intentions and yet have basic similarities. While Kricke captures the movement in space, his lines setting directions and directing the perception of space in their dynamics, Nay remains stuck on the surface. His concern was not to describe space. The poles are unique here: the line in space or the area descriptive line.
The dynamic of the line is accentuated by Kricke with conscious use of color. It does not refer associatively to content, but suggests movement, can accelerate and slow down. It seeks to overcome the material and to emphasize the moment of movement. He writes, “I found out that white and chrome yellow show linear motion in space. While lineaments with angles that tend to right angles require colors of calm, heaviness such as brown, black, English-red, and gray, etc., I often use blue when I consider the spatial value of a piece or a whole piece of plastic especially wants to emphasize. I never used the paint for aesthetic or decorative reasons … “. Also, the relationship of Nay to color is of similar consciousness. He categorically denies the use of color as an emotional expression: “I reject the evaluation of color as an emotional value. The expressive value of the image lies in the spiritual structure, the spiritually sensual formulation of the surface. “Nay explains the complete elimination of the illusion, a seemingly created by an artist’s hand, the concern of his painting. Visible would be the true reality of color as a surface and therein at the same time a visual image of the human being.
Both artists never lose sight of the human in their artistic work. It remains the reference point and yardstick of their thinking. It is the liberal understanding and the possibility of spiritual intuition that unites their works. Nay writes: “For the spiritual, that is, the art today, the thought is determinant that the utmost in abstraction is capable of making the most human of man visible. Man never appears more clearly than in the freest invention of abstraction. “And Kricke:” In sculpture, space always means freedom. ”
Gallery Weekend: Saturday, 28th April – Sunday, 29th April 2018, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Exhibition period: Friday, 27th April – Sunday, 7th July 2018 – extended until 28th July 2018!Zu Aurel Scheibler
Image caption: Courtesy of Aurel Scheibler – Exhibition view Norbert Kricke + Ernst Wilhelm Nay
Exhibition Norbert Kricke + Ernst Wilhelm Nay – Line and Color – Aurel Scheibler | Contemporary Art – Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin – ART at Berlin