The demand for good art is enormous, and it made for the excellent result of more than 20 million at the end of the spring auctions in Ketterer Kunst
's anniversary year. This number even excelled last year's result, the best ever in the first term, by around 600,000, says company owner Robert Ketterer.
He continues: 29 lots that crossed the 100,000 line, two that went above the 1 million mark and a large number of sharp increases that is quite a remarkable result, the same accounts for the average sales quota of around 70% for about 800 lots. Once again, a large number of new art lovers could be noticed, in the section of contemporary art alone some 40% first time buyers were registered.
With a spectacular result of 1,320,000 Wassily Kandinsky's watercolor Gewebe (lot 347) holds first place in the auction. A persistent collector from Southern Germany made sure the unique composition soared from the starting price of 190,000, and not only did it break the 1 million barrier, it also made for the day's sharpest increase. Additionally, he relegated art dealers from Germany and Great Britain as well as collectors from Belgium, Russia and Brazil to places second and beyond.
While Hermann Max Pechstein's work Boote am Dangaster Priel/Kühe with oil painting on both sides (lot 315) went to the hands of a Swiss art merchant on the day of the auction for a result of 660,000, the bidding skirmish for Otto Mueller's Selbstbildnis mit Rückenakt (im Hintergrund Elfriede Timm) (lot 326) was neither carried out between telephones nor written bids, but right in the salesroom. A German bidder could not stand his grounds and had to give in to an energetic collector from Turkey and 549.000.
With Oskar Schlemmer's small oil painting Kopf nach links (lot 351) from the artist's late Bauhaus days, a Franconian collector acquired a very special gem. Despite fierce competition in the salesroom, his written bid, which would have allowed for some more steps, made sure that the result of 378,000 is far more than twice the starting price.
The five works by Gabriele Münter were all sold with good increases to art lovers from Germany. A private collector from the Bavarian south won the two top lots. While he had to spend 317,000 on the Berglandschaft mit Haus (lot 311), called up at 180,000, relegating numerous fellow countrymen and competition from Switzerland to places second and beyond, he could call the work Landschaft mit gelbem Haus (lot 317) his own for as little as 195,000.
Likewise successful were half a dozen works by Emil Nolde, led by the 1935 watercolor Bauernhof unter Gewitterwolken (lot 334). Called up at 100,000, it soon began to climb. The heated bidding skirmish, fought by a dozen art lovers on the phone and with written bids, was eventually halted at 305,000 by a collector from Berlin present in the salesroom.
Charity Auction The Art of Seeing
On the first auction day works from a small but exclusive private collection were quite sought-after and almost entirely sold. Their complete proceeds will be donated to the benefit of a foundation that supports molecular-biological research at the American Mayo Clinic.
As expected, this section is led by Alexander Calder's mobile Yellow Crinkly (lot 219), which a bidder from New York, present in the salesroom, could make sure for himself for the result of 378,000. This led to quite some disappointment with an almost likewise persistent colleague from Switzerland. The filigree piece of jewelry (lot 208) by the same artist was also quite popular. Eventually, it once more was an American client who stood his grounds against the competition. Called up at 60.000, he allowed for a result of 94,000 through the phone.
Second place is occupied by Alexej von Jawlensky's expressive Frauenkopf Femina (lot 204). A Southern German collector honored the lucent watercolor with a result of 195,000, offering three times its starting price of 60,000 and providing the charity auction's sharpest increase. Art dealers from all over Germany were left behind.
A collage from Kurt Schwitter's series of Merzzeichnungen (lot 215) will call Scandinavia its new home. A phone bidder from Norway was willing to pay 134,000 for this piece from one of the artist's most important work complex.
Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Dora Maar (lot 217) easily passed the 100,000 mark. The gelatine silver print, which also adorns the catalog's cover, was sold to the artist's adopted home France for 122,000. Art lovers from Germany and the U.S.A. looked on empty-handed.
Post War/Contemporary Art
This section is also led by a work sold for a million Euro sum. Günther Uecker's Hommage à Fontana I (lot 725) was among the day's most sought-after works and even provided a new world record price. Both merchants and collectors from all over Germany, the U.S.A., France and the Benelux countries entered the race for the nail object called up at 200,000. However, it needed a bid of 1,260,000 granted by an art lover from Southern Germany to put an end to the bidding frenzy.
The same collector had already been successful a little earlier in the race for Willi Baumeister's oil painting Mo (lot 706), which was called up at 300,000. For this work he did not have to put up such a large sum, as he was able to convince competitors to give up with a result of 439.000.
Both Lucio Fontana's Concetto Spaziale, Attese (lot 728), which entered the race at 350,000 and realized 427,000, as well as Ernst Wilhelm Nay's Irish Blau, called up at 250.000 and realizing 354,000, will remain in Germany.
Also Heinz Mack's monumental wing object Erzengel Michael und Gabriel (lot 737) was on the wish list of predominantly German bidders. A Southern German art trader made sure with a result of 317,000 that competitors would have to leave empty-handed.
The oil painting J.Y.M in the Studio II (lot 721) by the Berlin native Frank Auerbach was mostly popular with bidders from Great Britain and Belgium. For a result of 305,000 (starting price: 200,000) it went to an art dealer from the artist's adopted home England.