Gallery Hopping: Ernst Wilhelm Nay at Aurel Scheibler, Berlin

Nay explored the powerful motif of the all-seeing eye.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay Astral, (1964). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.
Installation view of "NAY 1964" at Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin. Photo Roman Maerz.

Installation view of “NAY 1964” at Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin. Photo Roman Maerz.

When Ernst Wilhelm Nay first presented his “eye” paintings at the third iteration of Documenta in Kassel, in 1964, the monumental artworks provoked something of a heated squabble among critics.

Measuring four by four meters, the paintings were displayed in a manner quite unusual for its era, as an installation hung freely from the ceiling rather than flush against the wall; the daring new approach to the medium sparked a lengthy dispute that played itself out in the German media at the time.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay Die Nacht, (1963). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Die Nacht, (1963). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.

Now, an exhibition at the Berlin gallery Aurel Scheibler revisits the artworks created in 1964, a pivotal year for Nay, which saw him getting retrospective surveys in German museums, an exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York, and participating at the Venice Biennale.

Dedicated entirely to the paintings with the eye motif, the exhibition “Nay 1964” sheds new light on the subject of “looking” and “being looked at” that the artist was preoccupied with throughout his artistic career. In this age of information and surveillance, these striking canvases gain yet another layer of meaning and relevance, without compromising the element of the magical and spiritual that permeates them.

See more works from the exhibition below:

Ernst Wilhelm Nay Blaufeuer, (1964). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Blaufeuer, (1964). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay Tag und Nacht, (1964). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Tag und Nacht, (1964). Courtesy Aurel Scheibler, Berlin.

Installation view of "NAY 1964" at Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin. Photo Roman Maerz.

Installation view of “NAY 1964” at Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin. Photo Roman Maerz.

“Nay 1964” in on view at Aurel Scheibler until June 18, 2016


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