Ernst Wilhelm Nay - Onyx

Ernst Wilhelm Nay - Onyx - image-1
Ernst Wilhelm Nay - Onyx - image-2
Ernst Wilhelm Nay - Onyx - image-1Ernst Wilhelm Nay - Onyx - image-2

Ernst Wilhelm Nay


Oil on canvas. 82 x 70 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Nay. 63'. Signed 'Nay' verso on canvas and signed, dated and titled 'Nay - "Onyx" 1963' verso on stretcher. - Partially with fine craqueleur.

“Absolute painting emerges out of itself in the form of a symbol: the possible real. Not then, when I think - but if I were to know of myself - I am. However, knowing of myself is dependent on the possibility of realising the world for myself. That takes place through its adaptation in myths. Ancient peoples did that, we also do it - but we don't know it, not yet. - Myths are signs of a model of the world. We don't have one. In contrast to earlier times, modern absolute art not only accompanies, it helps create.” (E.W. Nay, c.1963, cited in: E.W. Nay, Lesebuch: Selbstzeugnisse und Schriften 1931-1968, edited by Magdalene Claesges, Köln 2002, p. 249).

The so-called “Augenbilder” of the years 1963/64, which also include our work, are connected with Nay's iconic “Scheibenbilder”; however, in their individual manifestations, they are considerably more variable. Thus the stylised motif of the eye - which provided this group of works with its name and features a disc with the form of a spindle or dot above it - can be recognised in a modified form here: the canvas, divided up into a red, a dark blue and a greenish brown segment, is dominated by organic-looking circles and loops. Similarly to the painting “Im Dunkel - Feuer” (Scheibler 1059), which had been created only shortly before our work and displays a comparable colour scheme and composition, Nay has renounced the graphic components of other works from this period. Emerging from within the deep chromatic space, he has arrived at a painting of archaic and existentialist immediacy.

Catalogue Raisonné

Scheibler 1060


Galerie Orangerie-Reinz, Cologne; Private collection, Rhineland


Cologne 1981 (Galerie Orangerie-Reinz), Ernst Wilhelm Nay 1902-1968, n.pag. with colour panel; Munich 1963 (Galerie Günther Franke), E. W. Nay, cat. no. 4 (rückseitig auf dem Keilrahmen mit dem Galeriestempel); Frankfurt am Main 1960 (Frankfurter Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker vom Rath), E. W. Nay, Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen von 1932 bis heute, cat. no. 33

Lot 604 D

100.000 € - 150.000 €

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