Emil Nolde. My way of painting …

‘Collection+’ studio exhibition in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
31 March 2022 – 28 February 2023

Emil Nolde is prominently represented in the Sammlung Moderne Kunst (Modern Art Collection) in the Pinakothek der Moderne by, among others, a very early key work ‘Dance around the Golden Calf’ of 1910. “My way of painting is without all artifice,” the artist wrote in 1912 as a deliberate understatement since, on closer inspection, the effect of his paintings is essentially the result of the conscious and nuanced use of materials and techniques at every stage, from the preparation of the canvas to the signature.

Eight paintings by Emil Nolde – and, as such, virtually the entire holding of works by Nolde in the collection in Munich – are presented in the studio exhibition in Munich. These range from ‘Dance around the Golden Calf’ (1910) to ‘Nordermühle’ (1932), encompassing as such works from the beginning of Expressionism up until the early 1930s and a cross-section of Nolde’s wide spectrum of motifs. The still life ‘Dolls and Parrot’ (1912) has been removed from its frame and is presented in a display cabinet. In this way visitors can experience the picture more directly – and gain a view similar to that of the researchers – of the work’s materiality on both the front and the reverse, including the stretched edges and the weave of the canvas, the stenter frame and the picture’s title – Nolde frequently ‘christening’ his paintings after completion.

Five wall texts give more detailed information on important individual topics. They provide an introduction to the exhibition, the research project and the artist’s biography, focus on the experimental years between 1904 and 1910 that were significant for Nolde, both artistically and in terms of his painting technique, explain the background to Nolde’s unusually long preference for ‘Behrendt artists’ paints’ and show the range of Nolde’s work methods, extending from self-assured success at the first attempt to sometimes comprehensive reworkings even after long intervals. Two monitor presentation loops in the room provide a more in-depth look at the rich vocabulary of Nolde’s painting technique and guide us through each step in a painting’s creation with details, microscopic, grazing light or infrared images. A characteristic of Nolde’s work from 1914 onwards, for example, is the frequent use of coloured grounds that remain visible next to often coloured compositional lay-ins and fluidly become part of the painting process. To create lively surfaces Nolde often applies oil paints as pure, unmixed colours in a variety of different ways, sometimes impasto with dynamic sweeps of the brush and at other times greatly diluted like watercolour. Nolde even uses the colour and position of the signature as a compositional element.

The presentation, integrated into the museum tour, provides an insight into current art technological research work being carried out at the Pinakothek Museums in Munich.

A comprehensive programme of guided tours accompanies the exhibition. Further information:

Curators Irene Glanzer, Hanna Kirst, Heike Stege and Jeanine Walcher, Doerner Institut

Gefördert vom:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research