Aurel Scheibler presents an exhibition of paintings by Ernst Wilhelm Nay (1902-1968) entirely devoted to his celebrated “Eye” paintings, an important group of works he created in the years 1963-1964.
1964 was a pivotal year for Nay, witnessing one of the most important exhibitions during his lifetime. At documenta III in Kassel Nay was presented with six large-scale paintings, two of which – Die Nacht, 1963 and Meteor, 1964 – we are able to include in our exhibition in Berlin.
His three monumental Documenta Paintings, measuring 4 by 4 meters, were displayed in an unusual way for that time – as installation – hanging from the ceiling and arose fevered and controversial discussions in German media. That same year Nay had solo exhibitions with M. Knoedler Gallery in New York and Paris, followed by retrospectives in German institutions. Nay’s works from the collections of the Museu de Arte Morderna, Rio de Janeiro and the Guggenheim Museum, New York, were presented at the Venice Biennale.
The “Eye” paintings also stand as a point of culmination in Nay’s oeuvre. They raise a primeval subject, which Nay had been pursuing from the very beginning of his artistic work. The eye motif combines “looking” and “being looked at” and, as an archetypical symbol, signifies magical and spellbinding powers and furthermore symbolizes light and spirituality. The “Eye” paintings indicate the apotheosis of postwar abstraction.
The change of times during the mid sixties, political tensions, the ongoing wave of space exploration as well as the first signals of technical and scientific revolution had a lasting impression on the artist and are treated and reflected in Nay’s “Eye” paintings.
The exhibition marks the 25th anniversary of the gallery and will be accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with an essay by John-Paul
Stonard as well as selected statements from the artist’s scripts.
tue, wed, thu, fri, sat 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Aurel Scheibler, Schöneberger Ufer 71