Man with Horse and Sleigh
This room presents a selection of oil paintings from the 1930s, early key works dating from Werner Berg’s first years on his farm. Many of them were to be seen as part of an exhibition presented in 1934 and 1935 in important German museums, but this early success was soon interrupted. A Werner Berg solo exhibition at the Kunstverein in Cologne was closed at the order of the National Socialist authorities. From then on, the artist was labeled “degenerate” and relegated to many years of working in solitude without an audience.
This painting is typical of Werner Berg’s search for a simple, surface-oriented compositional approach. He once stated: “I wanted to get to the image and to almost negate painting, painting that is forced and hefty. I soon realized that the pictorial depiction benefits from a great simplicity of contrast and surface. That was when I started using a chalk ground. The chalk ground is especially important, because the paint is absorbed into the surface. Many nuances come together in the surface, yielding a special contrast, and also a great luminosity, especially in the darker colors.”