Nessler, Walter: Land of Promise


A superb collage by Nessler incorporating acrylic, wax crayon, charcoal, ball-point pen, pencil and collage on paper which. One of a series of collages produced at this time, it gives the impression of a ‘disrupted landscape’ from life, a strong statement incorporating elements of both past and future.

A lovely collection of Nessler’s work can be found in Claire Tobin’s ‘Walter Nessler, 1912 – 2001: ‘Post-war Optimist” published by J & C Marshall-Purves in 2012 for the Pallant House Exhibition of the same name.

More images can be provided on request.

Artist: Walter Nessler, (1912-2000), signed ‘Nessler’

Title and date: Land of Promise, 1972

Size: 50.0 x 75.0 cms.


Artist description:

A painter and sculptor born in Leipzig, he studied in Dresden and came to London, in 1937. Much of is earlier work was destroyed there during Allied bombing. He strongly opposed Hitler’s Nazi regime and while working as a window-dresser, he placed the Star of David on top of a Christmas tree prompting his instant dismissal. He was an opponent of the National Socialists and produced Das Hitler ABC, each letter of which satirised Hitler which hardly made hi popular with the Nazis.

He married Prudence Ashbee, a dancer studying at the progressive Wigman School, for whose theatre Nessler painted stage sets. He served with the British Army from 1940-47 then studied sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art where he later taught, his contemporaries included Elisabeth Frink.

He started to make ‘relief pictures’ in polyester and first exhibited these at the Molton Gallery, London, 1961. Nessler exhibited in many mixed shows including at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists. He held more than two dozen solo exhibitions and a retrospective in 1990 coincided with new recognition in Germany. He was made an honorary Fellow of the Dresden Academy and Galerie Berlin afforded him a solo show. Nessler’s pictures are held by several public galleries including the Royal Air Force Museum, the Art Gallery, Leicester and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

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