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Christie's to sell a selection of 128 works from the collection of Mrs. Ingvild Goetz
Urs Fischer (B. 1973), Mr. Toobad, signed and dated ‘Urs Fischer 2002-3’ (on the reverse), wood, plywood, glue, acrylic paint, polyester film, paint marker, tape, staples, screws, fittings, glass, latex paint, UV-protective lacquer in artist’s frame, 82¬ x 105Ωin. (210 x 268cm.). Executed in 2002-2003. Estimate: £250,000-350,000 / US$380,000-530,000 / €290,000-390,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

LONDON.- Christie’s announced the sale of a selection of 128 works of art from the celebrated collection of Mrs. Ingvild Goetz to be offered in London through three auctions, two in February and one in April. Illustrating the quality and comprehensiveness of Mrs. Goetz’s collection, this selection features works by 63 different artists such as Christopher Wool, Richard Prince, Urs Fischer and Sherrie Levine, amongst others.

Assembled across nearly three decades, Mrs. Goetz’s collection is Germany’s largest and most distinguished private collection of Post-War & Contemporary Art, including almost 5,000 objects which date from the late 1950s to the present time and span a vast range of media.

Mrs. Goetz passion for art is only rivalled by her devotion to philanthropy. Having just completed an extensive project to support children in Nepal, she has now dedicated her time and energy to raise awareness of under-represented charitable causes, including support for those battling anorexia, and the improvement of the conditions for asylum seekers, a cause that she has embraced for many years. Mindful of the fact that artists are so often asked to donate their own works to charity for the greater good, Mrs. Goetz was inspired to offer a selection of pieces from her own esteemed collection at Christie’s.

Francis Outred, Christie's Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe: “Ingvild Goetz is one of the most important collectors of contemporary art in the world, whose vision and approach to art and collecting is a source of inspiration to fellow collectors globally. Any visitor to her private museum in Munich couldn’t help but be impressed by her great taste and by the prescience of her eye. Christie's is honoured to have been entrusted to sell a group of works from this extraordinary collection, selected by Mrs. Goetz herself, to benefit the important yet under-represented charitable organisations to which she is devoted. These works offer a strong portrayal of the spirit and story of the Goetz collection: featuring established stars such as Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Christopher Wool, alongside rare, very sought after artists including Toba Khedoori, together with current tralblazers like Wade Guyton and Kelley Walker”.

Executed in 1997, Mad Cow is a visually arresting painting realised by Christopher Wool (B. 1955) on a large-scale aluminium panel (estimate: £700,000-900,000 / US$1,100,000-1,400,000 / €790,000-1,000,000). Whilst Wool’s early works incorporated semi-figurative elements, he had already by this stage restricted himself to a limited color palette and was palpably more captivated by the properties of paint and its process of application than by its content; a predilection abundantly clear in Mad Cow. In this work the artist also embraces ‘pentimenti’, engaging with the process of erasure through the use of radiant, canary yellow and white semi-opaque paint. The work becomes a complex field of decorative elements partially obscured yet rendered somehow more intriguing. Through his specific engagement with the history of Post-War American art, Wool registered with Pop Art’s methods of mechanized production, Minimalism’s emphatic denial of the author and painterly abstraction’s privileging of form over content, consciously addressing the challenges that face contemporary image-making. With its smooth and curvaceous contours, the flowing form of Richard Prince’s Untitled (SB Hood #1) (1989) is a striking example of one of the artist’s most enduring motifs - the American automobile (estimate: £200,000-300,000 / US$310,000-450,000 / €230,000-340,000). In this early example of his large-scale car sculptures, Prince places the object on a large wooden plinth, fetishizing it while also decontextualising it: he has transformed it from an everyday car part into an object of high art, one that investigates the true nature of American popular culture. Inspired by a trip to Los Angeles in 1987, Prince takes the molds of cars he has always admired - Mustangs, Challengers, Chargers, all masculine über-American models - and paints them, celebrating the sculptural qualities of the vehicles while wryly proclaiming his own sculptural prowess.

Executed in 2002-2003, Mr. Toobad engulfs the viewer in a curiously evocative dreamscape of Urs Fischer’s imagining (estimate: £250,000-350,000 / US$380,000-530,000 / €290,000-390,000). The work’s title shares its name with a character from the 19th Century English poet Thomas Love Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey, a Manichaean Millenarian, whose dualistic doctrine suggests the world is governed by the conflicting powers of good and evil - the fecundity suggested by the proliferation of mushroom-like blooms seems at odds with the knotted branches which twist across the front of the picture plane. Included in the artist’s 2009 solo exhibition at the New Museum, Mr. Toobad operates on both a conceptual level and a richly visual one, revitalising the classic landscape genre and acting as a Post-Modern revisiting of Vincent van Gogh’s Branch of an Almond Tree in Blossom, which itself was a study of the Japanese woodcut print by Hokusai.

Executed in 1989 by Sherrie Levine (B. 1947), Untitled (Copper Knots #5) is a rhythmic disposition of knots shining in burnished copper against natural wood (estimate: £60,000-80,000 / US$91,000-120,000 / €68,000-90,000). Reducing the composition, Levine meticulously hand paints the organic whorls formed in the wood-grain of natural plywood boards. Sharing a conceptual relationship with Minimalist abstraction through its monochromatic fields of colour and the reductive, industrial materials of Minimalist sculpture, the Knot Paintings are defined purely through the treatment of the surface, its singular presence created through its materiality. In doing so, Levine is able to eliminate hierarchical relationships between the elements of colour and form. Untitled (Copper Knots #5) was exhibited at the Whitney Biennale in 1989. The celebrated Knot Paintings series, which began in 1984 has been highlighted in the major international retrospective of the artist’s work Sherrie Levine: Mayhem at the Whitney Museum, New York, 2010, and are included in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

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January 24, 2013

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