Hanseatic art with a French touch
Franz Nölken enjoyed his first successful exhibitions in 1904. A student of the Hamburg landscapist Arthur Siebelist, he stunned the art world with his virtuosic masterpieces even before his twentieth birthday. Nölken was already a member of the Hamburgischer Künstlerclub, and after its dissolution the Brücke group in Dresden sought his association in 1908.
But the talented young painter decided to become a student once more. After an initial journey to Paris in 1907, he returned to the Seine in 1909–10, this time to the académie of the innovator Henri Matisse. The French painter’s concept of a harmonic art aspiring to an inherent pictorial balance of colour and form was a decisive stimulus to Nölken – as was his preoccupation with other important figures in French painting: Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne or Pablo Picasso.
Nölken’s Paris experiences, deepened in 1914 by a third stay in the city, gave his compositions a new sonority. The exhibition Paris in Mind follows his artistic search – a hundred years after he was killed shortly before the end of the First World War during the retreat from the Western Front in France.
Paris in Mind brings together around 70 paintings, drawings and prints that were created between 1904 and 1916. At their centre are Nölken’s sensitively composed works of the 1910s. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Rosa Schapire, Friederike Weimar and Karsten Müller (96 pages with numerous colour illustrations, German, softcover).
Tours with the curator
Tuesday, 27 November 2018, 6 p.m.
‘Big Hangover and Volte-face’
Nölken’s emergence into modernism
Tuesday 15 January 2019, 6 p.m.
‘I paint Renoirs like Matisse would paint them’
Nölken’s French turn