Ernst Wilhelm Nay (German, June 11, 1902–April 8, 1968) was born in Berlin. In the 1920s, he studied with Karl Hofer (German, 1878–1955) at Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, where he was influence by the paintings of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880–1938) and Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Scholarships allowed Nay to pursue additional studies in Paris, Rome, and Norway. In 1937, after two of his works were shown in the exhibition of Degenerate art, he was no longer allowed to paint. In 1940, Nay was drafted into the German army. During his stay in France, a French sculptor gave him access to his atelier. With strict secrecy, Nay began to paint again. He gained great recognition through his first American solo exhibition in 1955 at Kleeman Gallery in New York. His works were represented at Biennale di Venezia in 1948 and 1956, and at documenta exhibition I (1955), II (1959), and III (1964) in Kassel. Nay died in Cologne on April 8, 1968.

Timeline

1902
Born in Berlin
1922
Starts painting autodidactic
1925
Scholarship at the 'Berliner Hochschule für bildene Künste'
1925
Master scholar of Carl Hofer
1968
Died in Cologne
www.ewnay-stiftung.de

Exhibitions

2013
Ernst Wilhelm Nay. Bilder, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Köln (solo)
2012–2013
Ernst Wilhelm Nay. Das polyphone Bild - Gouachen, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (solo)
2012
Ernst Wilhelm Nay. Zeichnungen, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Köln (solo)
2012
Ernst Wilhelm Nay. Paintings, Michael Werner Gallery, New York (solo)
2012
Ernst Wilhelm Nay. Drawings and Paintings, Mary Boone Gallery, New York (solo)
2009
Späte Zeichnungen und Grau-Aquarelle, Aurel Scheibler, Berlin (solo)
2009
Works from the 1960s, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (solo)
2009
Works from the 1960s, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (solo)
2008
Action Painting, Beyeler Foundation, Riehen, Switzerland
2004–2005
Musée d´Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg
2004
Art Museum, Bonn
2004
Folkwang Museum, Essen
2002–2003
Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich
1998
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1966
Salon International des Galeries Pilotes, Lausanne, Switzerland
1964
Documenta III, Kassel
1959
Documenta II, Kassel
1956
Biennale Venice, Italy
1955
Kleemann Gallery, New York
1955
Biennale, Sao Paulo
1955
Documenta I, Kassel
1952
Kupferstichkabinett ETH Zürich
1950
Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover
1948
Biennale Venice, Italy
1946
Galerie Gerd Rosen, Berlin, Germany
1937
Galerie Buchholz, Berlin, Germany
1933
With Paul Cassir, Berlin
1932
Galery Flechtheim, Berlin
1931–1932
Villa Fiassimo Rome