Nolde (1867–1956) was one of the original German Expressionists. Though he worked mainly in oils, he was, as this show demonstrates, a master watercolorist who notably focused on the medium during two key points in his life. The first, around 1908, followed a failed painting series, which led him to abandon the studio and paint with aquarelles outdoors in the dead of winter (using ice instead of water to dilute the pigment). The second, some 30 years later, involved a run-in with the Nazis, though not as a straightforward case of oppression. In fact, Nolde had joined the Nazi Party in the 1920s, disparaging Jewish artists, and touting Expressionism as an Aryan art form. He had supporters like Goebbels, but, alas, not Hitler. His work was included in the notorious Degenerate Art show, and he was banned from working, at which point he turned to watercolor to paint in secret.
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