Ernst Wilhelm Nay
With eight large-scale oil paintings by Ernst Wilhelm Nay, one of the major artists of the postwar era, Aurel Scheibler devotes an entire exhibition to Nay’s celebrated “Eye” paintings – an important group of works created between 1963–64. Three canvases from this series were exhibited at documenta III in 1964 and gave rise to fevered and controversial discussions. “Nay 1964” also marks the 25th anniversary of the gallery.
The “Eye” paintings stand as a culmination of Nay’s oeuvre. The eye motif addresses a primeval subject, which Nay pursued from the very beginning of his artistic career. It combines “looking” and “being looked at,” and as an archetypical symbol, signifies magical and spellbinding powers, light, and spirituality.
The political tensions of the mid-1960s, the upcoming wave of space exploration, and the first signs of the technical and scientific revolution had a lasting impression on Nay and are all reflected in his “Eye” paintings.