Ernst Wilhelm Nay

  • , Nachtblau mit weisser kette, 1966
    EWN, 1966
    Oil on canvas
    162 x 130 cm
    63 3/4 x 51 1/8 inches

An interest in synesthesia, the association of rhythms and sound with visual imagery, brought Ernst Wilhelm Nay’s work into the realm of abstraction in the 1950s. He continued to incorporate recognizable imagery in the 1960s, where ocular shapes stand in for human figures. Seeking out universal modes of communication free of personal references, as time went on, he further restricted his color palette and simplified forms. Yet he employed a painterly style, believing that something human, new and unknown, comes through the act of painting in excess of any intention.