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From modern classics to contempoarary art: Sellout auction at Ketterer
Georg Baselitz, Der Abgarkopf, 1984. Oil on canvas, 124,5 x 100 cm (49 x 39.3 in). Estimate: € 250.000-350.000.

MUNICH.- The rush was greater than ever as many art lovers were left empty-handed. “We had received far more than 1000 written bids. In total 75 percent of all objects were sold, with each object realizing an average increase of more than 60 percent”, says Robert Ketterer. He continues: “The € 100.000 line was crossed 27 times, twice we even jumped the € 1.000.000 mark. The outstanding overall result of € 18.6 million in our autumn auction exceeds last year's result for the same season by 2 million.”

The auction's focal points were on:

1. Modern Classics & Sidelines of the German avant-garde
2. Post War
3. Contemporary Art

1. Modern Classics
With a result of € 1.5 million, Max Pechstein's oil painting “Schrei am Meer” (lot 329) leads not only this section but the entire auction. A businessman from Southern Germany won the powerful illustration of a remarkable love for life and freedom. His written bid, which in fact exceeded the hammer price by far, relegated competitors to places second and beyond.

Second place was taken by another work by Pechstein. The portrait of his wife “Lotte mit Kopftuch” (lot 324) was particularly popular with a collector from Northern Germany, who was able to defend it against competitors from Germany and Great Britain. With a result of € 1.14 million he claimed it for nearly twice the starting price.

Eight further works by Max Pechstein also achieved excellent increases, among them the “Fischerhafen in Leba” (lot 340, starting price: € 24.000, result: € 78.000*) as well as the likable scene “Im Tanzcafé” (lot 31, starting price: € 12.000, result: € 56.0000), which adorns the catalog of part II of the Modern Classics auction. While the first work will join “Lotte mit Kopftuch” on its way to Northern Germany, the postcard with the color chalk drawing will go to Western Germany.

Third place in the Modern Classics auction is held by Oskar Schlemmer and his sought-after “Figur auf grauem Grund” (lot 350). In the end a collector from Southern Germany stood his grounds with € 500.000 against a good number of written bids and competition in the auction room.

More than a three-fold its starting price of € 95.000 was realized by Yves Tanquy's oil painting “Titre inconnu” (lot 376A), which will go to the artist's home country. A French art trader honored the work with a result of € 305.000 and outbid competitors from Germany, Ireland, Israel, the Czech Republic and the U.S.A.

Fifth place is shared by Gabriele Münter's “Blauer Kegelberg” (lot 339, starting price: € 140.000) and “Börsenspekulanten” (lot 360, starting price: € 95.000) by Otto Dix, which will both remain in Germany for respectable results of € 293.000 each. While the first was particularly in demand with domestic bidders, the race for the second attracted international art lovers.

14 works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner were all sold, and mostly with excellent increases. The watercolor with black chalk “Stilleben mit Enzian und Türkenbund” (lot 323), which went to a new client from Franconia for € 48.800, occupies first place.

The tenth anniversary of the special auction Sidelines of the German avant-garde proved once more a success. The auction has made the oeuvre of the represented artists popular with a wide audience, which, in return, honored their works with great interest. On average, every lot was on demand with three bidders.

The great popularity of this section also made for some exceptional results, for instance with two works by Karl Hermann Trinkaus. While his “Zeppelin” (lot 262) started at € 800 and soared to an astonishing € 39.000, the foldable collage “Das große Spiel” (lot 260) even reached a result of € 91.500, which is nearly a thirty-fold the starting price of € 3.200. In both cases English art traders carried the trophy home.

2. Post War Art
This section is led by Georg Baselitz, whose oil painting “Der Abgarkopf” (lot 1246) caused an intense bidding skirmish, mostly fought among phone bidders from Germany and Luxemburg. Written bids kept up with the others for some time, but eventually a collector from Southern Germany in the auction room won the race and halted the bidding at a result of € 451.000.

ZERO art was generally in demand: 17 works by Otto Piene, Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker were all sold with excellent increases, but the work “Poetische Reihe” (lot 1234) by the latter peaked at € 177.000. A private collector from the Swiss French-language region relegated fellow countrymen and half a dozen bidders from Belgium, Germany and the U.S.A. to places second and beyond. More than a dozen art lovers, which, on top of the aforementioned, joined the auction by phone when another work by Uecker was called up. Starting at € 50.000 for his “Feld” (lot 1230), it took a result of € 152.500 from England to stop the bidding frenzy. It required exactly the same amount to bring Heinz Mack's acrylic work (lot 1229, starting price € 25.000) to Berlin.

3. Contemporary Art
The range of offerings in the Contempoary Art section, this time presented in its own catalog was well-received. Every object realized an increase of 66%, with 30% of the competition comprising of first-time buyers. Especially worthwhile mentioning are works by Daniel Richter (“Irren menschlich...?“, lot 1127, starting price: € 45.000, result: € 128.100), Tony Cragg (lot 1123, “Sharing“, starting price: € 56.000, result: € 90.000), Anselm Reyle (lot 1133, “Untitled“, starting price: € 60.000, result: € 93.940) and Jason Martin (lot 1129, “Chord“, starting price: € 40.000, result: € 58.000).

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