Zwei Akte im Walde. Um 1921. Watercolor over black chalks. Signed in lower right of the image. Verso with hand-written title and inscription as well as with the estate stamp of the Kunstmuseum Basel (Lugt 1570 b) and with the hand-writtten registration number "A Da/Bf1". On light board. 50 x 38.2 cm (19.6 x 15 in), the full sheet. [CE].
This work is documented at the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Archive, Wichtrach/Bern.
PROVENANCE: Artist's estate. E. V. Thaw, The New Gallery, New York. Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York. Private collection Southern Germany.
EXHIBITION: E. L. Kirchner, Paintings and Works on Paper, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York, 1983, cat. no. 7 with illu .
LITERATURE: Karl & Farber, Munich, November 1983, lot 925.
During his time in Dresden around 1909/10 Kirchner developed an interest in dance and began to make depictions of dance scenes and motion studies. He became acquaintd with several dancers and made sketches of their motion sequences in private surroundings. In 1921 he met the dancer Nina Hard at a bar in Zürich, who would then spent a couple of days at Kirchner's house "In den Lärchen" in Davos-Frauenkirch. Photographs, woodcuts, scores of drawings and even oil paintings of the dancer, among them some nude portraits, came into existence. The same year Kirchner also composed the depiction of two female nudes in nature offered here. Interestingly, a photography made during Nina Hard's visit shows the dancer bathing naked with Kirchner's good friend Erna Schilling - a Berlin nightclub dancer - in the creek 'Suzibachtobel' (see illu.). Kirchner presumably captured the two artists Nina Hard and Erna Schilling with their modern bob hair-do, carefully stepping into the rocky creek in this dynamic masterly drawing with its striking color accentuations. [CH]