Palle Nielsen (1920-2000), The Tempest, 1963
To many of Palle Nielsen’s predecessors, from Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) to Rembrandt (1606-1669), technical reasons dictated that graphic images were made up of black, white, and all the grey shades in between.
The same restricted colour scheme also appears in works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Francisco Goya (1746-1828), and many other later graphic artists. At this point, the colour scheme is no longer determined by technical limitations; it is the result of the artist’s own choice. Naturally, this also applied to Palle Nielsen as he quite deliberately turned his hand to an art tradition that goes back more than 600 years.
The creator of "graphic novels"
To a general audience, Nielsen is probably best known as the creator of a number of "graphic novels" consisting of original graphic art, including a wordless retelling of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Even though the tale has been transposed to our times, the artist addresses the same universal issues, interpreting them and, if possible, resolving them in his captured moments.
Traditional, yet startling graphic devices
The many linocuts of modern man’s fragmented world shows glimpses of a pursued pursuer’s quest for lost love and unattainable happiness in familiar, yet alien spaces of hate and aggression. We only hold on to that which is lost. In this linocut, Palle Nielsen has used entirely traditional, yet startling graphic devices to posit man on an impossible flight from his shadow in a world of exploding whiteness.