Das Geheimnis der Farbe

4.03.2023 – 13.08.2023

Opening: 3rd March 2023, 19 Uhr


In 1952, at the renowned Commeter Gallery in Hamburg, the up-and-coming painter Herbert Beck had a landmark encounter with the 85-year-old painting prince Emil Nolde.

The gallery representing both artists was presenting Beck's solo exhibition when the already established artist entered as an unexpected visitor. The fact that the well-known expressionist Nolde not only paid attention to the young painter, but showed him his own watercolors in a portfolio he had brought with him, made a lasting impression and influence on Beck. The vast landscapes, cloud formations, and floral compositions radiated with incredible intensity and left a deep impression on Beck. "Reaching Nolde's glowing colorfulness was the goal of countless studies. In the course of time I succeeded in painting my portraits expressively, with strong colors, without becoming colorful," Beck later wrote.

The juxtaposition of two masters of watercolor painting in the Tecklenburg exhibition shows the unique class of Emil Nolde, but also Beck's continuation of this expressive painting into new areas of design and content. Both artists were always committed to the subject matter, and at the center of their work was the maxim of creating the highest possible expression of their content.

Herbert Beck further developed the extraordinary watercolor technique of the 53 years older co-founder of German Expressionism and brought it to his own language. While Emil Nolde watercolored on fine Japanese paper, Beck used a firm laid paper board, which he primed lightly. For both, the medium of watercolor meant a freer way of working in the blurring of colors and overworking as well as in the processual emergence. Both were masterly at creating a glow of color from within.

For all his affinity to the work of Emil Nolde, Herbert Beck also set completely different thematic emphases. While the North German Nolde is recognizably closely linked to his homeland in terms of motifs, Beck, in contrast, has no clear topographical clues that could be assigned; he is more concerned with 'landscapes of the soul'.

Emil Nolde remained in his cosmos of color virtuosity and beauty, although he was a witness of two world wars. His long overdue reappraisal of his closeness to Nazi ideology, his calculating creation of his own myth, which did not even shy away from untruths, shows him in a questionable light from a human point of view, but it does not diminish the extraordinary quality of his art. But his thematic worlds did not attempt social discourse. It was different with Beck, whom his personal experiences in the Second World War never quite left. His engagement with history and socially relevant, even supra-temporal themes are evident, for example, in his work "Kleine Giftgasfabrik" (Small Poison Gas Factory) and in his "Köpfe" (Heads), which, still and unmoving, look at the viewer eye-to-eye: Perpetrator and Victim, Victim and Perpetrator - as self-reflection.

The exhibition at the Otto Modersohn Museum combines 46 works by Beck and 8 watercolors by Nolde, landscape and figurative in the magical color worlds of two artists.

Quelle: https://ommt.de/beck-nolde/


Available works of the artist

Herbert Beck, Blumen vegetativ in Blau
Herbert Beck, Blumen vegetativ in Blau
Herbert Beck, Roter Mohn, 1990
Herbert Beck, Roter Mohn, 1990
Herbert Beck, See und Berge, c.1960
Herbert Beck, Meditative Landschaft, c. 1998
Herbert Beck, Mondlandschaft, c. 1960
Herbert Beck, Meditative Landschaft
Herbert Beck, Landschaft mit gelbem Licht, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Mohn und Iris, © © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Blaurotes Blühen, © © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Landschaft mit Mond, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Abendrot II, 1999, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Figur mit Mondsichel, 1964
Herbert Beck, Allee
Herbert Beck, Meditative Landschaft, c. 1998
Herbert Beck, Landschaft
Herbert Beck, Mann mit Turban
Herbert Beck, Nächtliche Landschaft
Herbert Beck, Nächtliche Wolkenspiele
Herbert Beck, Segelboot
Herbert Beck, Segelboote, c. 1990
Herbert Beck, Landschaft im Nebel
Herbert Beck, Wolkenberge
Herbert Beck, Drei Figuren

Past exhibitions at Beck & Eggeling

Selected Publications of the Artist

Emil Nolde · Herbert Beck

Emil Nolde · Herbert Beck

  • Artists: Herbert Beck, Emil Nolde
    Editor: Gaia Regazzoni Jäggli, Michael Beck, Andrea Knop
    Text: Wolfgang Becker, Sören Gross, Andrea Knop
    Design: Paola Mastelli, Rezzonico Design
  • Hardcover
    174 pages, 140 illustrations
  • Fondazione Gabriele e Anna Braglia, 2023
  • 48 €


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