Published on the occasion of the exhibition Emil Nolde at Zentrum Paul Klee, this volume includes the first ever collection of correspondence between the Nolde and Klee couples, in addition to illustrations of the works on show. Any encounter with the unknown seemed to always inspire Emil Nolde’s artistic work. In his oeuvre there are great number references to the grotesque, the fantastic and the exotic—a fascination he shared with Paul Klee. Grotesques enabled both to critically comment on contemporary events. Fantastic depictions in Nolde’s work stem from the serious examination of the unknown and uncanny and, accordingly, take a central position in his work. In Paul Klee’s work, the realm of ghosts, demons, and other hybrid beings rather serve a kind of edification. For Nolde as well as for Klee and many of their contemporaries, exotic motifs formed a new inspiring vocabulary of forms, which helped them transcend the restrictions of the European tradition. The volume at hand presents works by Nolde that until now might have been only of marginal interest to the art world—but were of great importance to the artist and thus deserve our full attention. This research on the written communication between the two artist friends and their families fills an academic void and sheds light on heretofore unknown aspects of a mutually inspiring friendship.
About the Author
Emil Nolde (1867–1956) was unquestionable an outstanding German expressionist painter who is legendary for his watercolor paintings. Since 1923 he and his wife Ada (1879–1946) met sporadically with Paul (1879–1940) and Lily (1876–1946) Klee. The couples relationship was complex; Emil Nolde didn’t hide his “ambigous attitude” to National Socialism, to which the Klee’s were in total opposition. Their relationship reveals the ambivalence and complexity of a friendship during that time. For both, art is above all else.