Villa Mondriaan, Zonnebrink 4, Winterswijk, 16 May – 13 September 2015
Artists are artists, even though they are not well-known yet. Therefore it is remarkable that so little attention is given to the path that an artist takes before his or her breakthrough. The exhibition Mondrian and Nolde in nature aims to break this pattern. Due to a unique collaboration with the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, never before seen work of Emil Nolde (1867-1956) is compared to the early work of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) in the exhibition. In the early work of both artists, there are remarkable similarities to be discovered, artistically as well as personally.
The exhibition is opened on the 16th of May by the German ambassador Franz Josef Kremp.
It might seem like a strange choice to compare two artists, whose work appears to differ at the first glance. Piet Mondrian became world-renowned for his abstract work with horizontal lines and primary colours, while the German-Danish painter Emil Nolde blossomed with his expressionistic and avant-gardist work. In the years before their breakthrough however, both artists painted various realistic representations of nature, namely landscapes and flowers.
The bright, hard light of southern Europe could not captivate the artists as much. They favoured the changing light of Denmark and north Germany, and the rivers around Amsterdam and the Dutch province Brabant. They created landscapes with fascinating cloudscapes. The wide landscapes with their mystical atmospheres also offered an appealing motive to express their religiosity.
Next to landscapes, Mondriaan painted many flowers. Nolde also drew and painted the flowers in his garden that surrounded his studio and home in Seebüll. Mondrian continued to do this for a long time next to his figurative work, and Nolde too continuously sought inspiration in nature, even in his later expressionistic art.
Besides their themes, style and religiosity, both artists shared their solitary nature. Nolde can even be described unsociable from time to time, while Mondriaan regarded social contact as a distraction of his artistry.
The artistic breakthrough of both artists also happened around the same time. In 1909 Piet Mondrian experienced his breakthrough with a large group exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Emil Nolde followed in 1910 with big exhibitions in Hamburg, Essen, Jena and Hagen. The remaining path of both artists is well-known.
Accompanying the exhibition, the book Mondrian and Nolde in nature will be released in Dutch and German by Waanders Uitgevers with texts by Astrid Becker, Susanne Deicher and Laura Bertens.
Villa Mondriaan maintains a long-term partnership with the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. For this exhibition, Villa Mondriaan again received a large amount of loans from this largest and most important Mondrian collection in the world. Thanks to the unique collaboration with the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, a large amount of never before exhibited works of Emil Nolde are on display in this exhibition. Additional loans were provided by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Frans Hals Museum, Centraal Museum Utrecht and Boijmans van Beuningen, for which Villa Mondriaan is very grateful.
Exhibition: Mondrian and Nolde in nature
Period: 16 May – 13 September 2015
Location: Zonnebrink 4, Winterswijk
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00-17:00
Information: www.villamondriaan.nl of +31 (0) 543 51 54 00