Sale: 525 / Evening Sale, Dec. 10. 2021 in Munich Lot 255


Ernst Wilhelm Nay
Die Uhr (Krapplack, Blau und Grün), 1965.
Oil on canvas
€ 200,000 - 300,000

$ 232,000 - 348,000

Die Uhr (Krapplack, Blau und Grün). 1965.
Oil on canvas.
Scheibler 1158. Bottom right signed and dated. Signed, twice dated and titled, as well as inscribed with two direction arrows. Stretcher inscribed "oben" and with a third direction arrow by a hand other than that of the artist. 162 x 150.3 cm (63.7 x 59.1 in).

• A variety of intensive colors in an impressive format.
• First exhibited in 1966/67.
• From the important transitional period between the 'Eye Pictures' to the later "Spindle Pictures".
• Convergence of form and color in timeless perfection.
• Marvelous document of Nay's excellent artistic changeableness and progressiveness.
• Nay renders a playful acccount of his oeuvre's repertoire of forms.
• Similar works from this year are in, among others, the Nationalgalerie, State Museums Berlin, the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Collection Würth

PROVENANCE: Private collection.
Galerie Orangerie-Reinz, Cologne.
Private colletcion Switzerland.

EXHIBITION: E. W. Nay (retrospective), Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, November 12 - December 25, 1966, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, January 13 - February 12, 1967, Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, March 4 - April 9, 1967, cat. no. 71 (with the title "Krapplack, Blau und Grün", with the exhibition labels on the reverse).
E. W. Nay (Retrospektive), Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, April 15 - May 15, 1967, cat. no. 68 (with the title "Krapplack, Blau und Grün").
E. W. Nay 1902-1968, Galerie Orangerie-Reinz, Cologne, November 30, 2002 - January 25, 2003.
Zeitsprung. Das große Finale, zweiter Teil. Meisterwerke der Klassischen Moderne und Kunst der Gegenwart, Galerie Brusberg, Berlin, February 9 - March 29, 2008.
Väter & Söhne, Galerie Brusberg, Berlin, March 21 - May 16, 2009.

LITERATURE: Wolfgang Wittrock Kunsthandel, catalog 5, Düsseldorf 1986/87, cat. no. 154 (with illu.).
Wolfgang Wittrock Kunsthandel, catalog 7, Düsseldorf 1987, cat. no. 71 (with illu.).
"The picture I paint in which [..] impulses form a pictorial system through beats, rhythms, weight and and codes, a system the artist transforms into an irrational piece of magic."
E. W. Nay, Januar 1965, in a contribution to ex. cat. E. W. Nay. Gemälde 1955-1964, Frankfurter Kunstverein Steinernes Haus, Frankfurt am Main 1965, quoted after: E. W. Nay. Lesebuch, Cologne 2002, p. 258)

Called up: December 10, 2021 - ca. 19.20 h +/- 20 min.

In the 1950s, E. W. Nay was one of the most controversially discussed artists of post-war modernism in the young Federal Republic of Germany, while his works had already been part of the most important museum collections of contemporary art for a long time, including the Museum Folkwang in Essen (since 1951) and the Kunsthalle Hamburg (since 1948). A few years later Nay reached the peak of his success. In 1960 the first monograph about him and his artistic work was published, in 1956 he took part in the 28th Venice Biennial and in both 1959 and 1964 his works were exhibited at documenta II and III in Kassel.
In the mid-1960s his painting underwent another major change - as it was the case so often in the course of his long artistic activity. After the gradual transition from the 'Disc' to the 'Eye Pictures' in 1963, art history witnessed the impressive transition to the spindle shapes in later pictures from around 1965, of which the work offered is a prime example. With the blue, diagonally, almost vertically arranged almond-shaped structures, this work is still rooted in the aforementioned series of the 'Eye Pictures' with which Nay had caused a stir a year earlier at documenta III. However, the narrow black, white and yellow stripes in the margins and the color field in a strong red swirling in the middle, already hint at the turning point that would soon follow. Nay suddenly turned away from geometrical forms and carried out an increasingly radical simplification and clarification of the pictorial plane. The area was divided into vertical lines that add rhythm and a dynamic flow to the composition. In lie with this progressive reduction of the formal language, E. W. Nay‘s color palette also changed. The artist allowed the color to unfold its intense, rich and clear luminosity on the canvas. It is all about the color spreading out as surfaces arranged side by side.

The artist attained the final non-representational character of his pictures as early as in 1952, even if the titles, as it is the case with the work offered here, repeatedly evoke figurative associations. The paintings "Phiole" (1967), "Dunkelblaue Perlen" (1966) or "Pfeilspitzen Schwarz - Rot" (1967) also suggest figurative representations, although they are entirely abstract compositions. With a wink, Nay titled the circular formations in strong, fresh green and with the small white dots we also find in other works from this period, "Die Uhr" (The Clock), although he only cared for the creation of a perfect unity of simple shapes and strong, clear colors: "It is worth a lifetime to go as far as it takes for the true color image to emerge, and that the color sounds - without any particular intention on the artist's side – that the humane becomes visible, the humane and the creatural in a new, unknown formulation." (E. W. Nay, contribution to the ex. cat. Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Galerie im Erker, St. Gallen 1968, quoted from: Lesebuch, p. 297/298.).
In the work offered here, Nay repeated a certain repertoire of forms from his earlier creative period, puts slightly modified, round 'Discs' next to the known 'Eye' formations, and yet heralds the later ‘Spindles' in form of the slender color paths, the strong, clear colors and the flowing, vertical arrangement of the picture. [CH]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Ernst Wilhelm Nay "Die Uhr (Krapplack, Blau und Grün)"
This lot can be subjected to differential taxation plus a 7% import tax levy (saving approx. 5 % compared to regular taxation) or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 25 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 20% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Resale right apportionment:
In accordance with §26 of German Copyright Act, a droit de suite charge of 2.4% including VAT is levied for original artworks and photographs for the compensation of the statutory right of resale.