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About this work

Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

A dancer moves ecstatically, her fluttering skirt barely covering her body. For Nolde her nakedness and unabashed sexuality tapped into primal instincts, signaling an authentic form of expression and a harmony with the natural world, removed from the decadence of urban dance halls. Yet two sketchily rendered figures to the left, behind the flaming torch, place the performance within the voyeuristic context of the German stage.

Tänzerin (Dancer) was the last of thirteen prints Nolde made during eight weeks he spent at the Westphalen lithography workshop, in Flensburg, in 1913. In these prints he experimented with unorthodox ways of using color to create many variants of the same image. The surprising results of what he termed his "audacious stupidities" delighted him as he pulled the works from the press. Nolde called Tänzerin his favorite; a wholly imaginary scene, it expressed all his "passion and joy."

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Emil Nolde (German, 1867–1956)

Dancer

Date:
1913
Medium:
Lithograph
Dimensions:
Sheet: 23 5/8 x 29 15/16" (60 x 76 cm); Composition: 21 x 27 1/16" (53.3 x 68.8 cm)
Publisher:
The artist
Printer:
Westphalen, Flensburg, Germany
Edition:
35
Credit Line:
Promised gift of Lynn G. Straus in memory of Philip A. Straus
Copyright:
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, Germany
Reference:
Sch.-M. (L) 56.
MoMA Number:
PG398.2004
Themes:
Dance & Leisure, Nude
Techniques:
Lithography

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