It is the best season result in the history of Ketterer Kunst
. Five results beyond the magic million euro line, scores of records and a lot of applause, to sum up the autumn auction season. The auctions at the end of the 65th anniversary year of Ketterer Kunst grossed more than 30,7 million, including expected proceeds of around 1.6 million for the part of the auctions of Modern and Post War/Contemporary Art sold online until 3 p. m. on December 8.
After the auctions of 19th Century Art and Rare Books had already brought proceeds of more than 3.6 million*, the sale of Art of the 20th/21st Century provided a spectacular finale with proceeds of more than 27.1 million in the sessions between December 6 and 8. A total of 55 results landed on or beyond the 100,000 line, five even made it to seven figure sums.
Both sections of Modern and Post War Art had their stars in the Evening Sale, namely Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Hermann Max Pechstein, Gerhard Richter and Günther Uecker who provided the four only million euro results in Germany in the second auction term of 2019.
Auctioneer and company owner Robert Ketterer puts it in a nutshell: It was one of my finest auctions ever, as the art simply wanted to be bought.
With Weisses Feld (lot 169), both the auctions number one and the top star of the German auction season, Günther Uecker consolidated his exceptional position on the art market. Eight phone bidders from all over Germany, the U. S. as well as from Belgium and Switzerland fought hard for the highly dynamic power field. In the end it took a collector from the German speaking part of Switzerland 1,687,500 to stop his competitors and to raise the calling price of 490,000 by a threefold.
Another starring role was played by Ernst Ludwig Kirchners Heimkehrende Ziegenherde (lot 133). Beck & Eggeling were bidding in the saleroom on behalf of the Fondazione Braglia and honored the colorful oil painting from the acclaimed collection of Gustav Ferdinand Jung with a remarkable price of 1,562,500, more than a fourfold of the calling price. Two committed collectors on the phone from Germany and Luxembourg were left empty-handed after a long and fierce bidding skirmish.
Third place in the anniversary auction went to Hermann Max Pechsteins Tänzer (lot 110) which more than doubled its calling price of 550,000. A German museum won the solitaire from the best phase of the Brücke and will fortunately put it on display for the public. With a result of 1,250,000 the institution was able to beat competitors in the saleroom as well as a very high commission provided by a collector from Southern Germany.
The fourth million euro result was brought in by Gerhard Richters Abstraktes Bild (lot 138) from 1986, for which bidders in the saleroom fought against a tough phone bidder after it had been called up at 600,000. Eventually a German bidder on site carried the trophy that represents the cross section between Informalism and Abstract Expressionism home for a result of 1,025,000.
The list of the Top 5 is completed by Anita Rées Blaue Frau (lot 482). The portrait from before 1919 comes from the acclaimed collection of Gustav Schiefler and was in demand with more than half a dozen bidders from Germany, Austria, England, Switzerland and the USA. Eventually an American collector showed the strongest persistence and provided an impressive world record** with the great result of 875,000.
Interest in Tony Craggs stainless steel sculpture Runner (lot 496) was big even before the auction. Accordingly, it was little surprising that it took a heated bidding race before it was sold to a German collector on the phone for 812,500. Not only did he relegate his mainly German competitors to places second and beyond but also provided a new German record for a work by the artist.
An array of half a dozen works by Alexej von Jawlensky was sold with excellent increases in the Evening Sale. It was led by Dichterin (Mystischer Kopf) (lot 123) whose magic eyes allured an art lover from North Rhine-Westphalia to place a commission that effortlessly outperformed several competitors from all over Germany and the USA. Eventually, the result of 600,000 doubled the calling price.
Two landscapes by Gabriele Münter were also very popular with the audience, however, it was one German art lover in the sale room who would take both masterpieces home with him. While he provided more than twice the calling price with the result of 337,500 for Staffelsee (lot 141), he needed more than four times the calling price before Moor im Herbst (lot 106) was knocked down for him for a result of 562,500, thus beating other art lovers who participated over the phone. When the monumental oil painting White Pine (lot 173) by Alex Katz was called up a little later, the same art enthousiast was successful again. With his bid of 362,500 he beat the late German record for a work by the artist, which was set by the portrait Sophie in a sale at Ketterer Kunst last June.
With another German record and against strong resistance over the phone from Switzerland, Jean Dubuffets L'Esplanade rose (lot 161) found a new home in Luxembourg for a result of 500.000.
A bidder in the sale room showed great staying power in the battle for Marcel Duchamps Bilboquet (lot 164), which he lifted from 90,000 to a result of 450,000, relegating tough competitors that mainly came from the USA to places second and beyond.
A sensational world record was realized for Katharina Grosses complex and oscillating untitled work (lot 146) when it was sold for 450.000. A Bavarian collector bid four and a half times the calling price and left international competitors from Milan, Paris and New York empty-handed.
Three works by Norbert Bisky were met with enormous interest in form of more than a dozen phones and almost as many commissions, which not only led to excellent increases but also to a new world record. A collector from Northern Germany granted a price of 131,250 for the large-size painting Sturz der Giganten (lot 127). Now Ketterer Kunst occupies all top five places in the global Bisky ranking.
It was a very short world record moment for Wolfgang Mattheuers oil painting Oh Caspar David (lot 291), which more than half a dozen bidders lifted to the great result of 112,500, because just one lot later Sturz des Ikarus (lot 292) soared by more of a seven-fold of the calling price of 27,000 to incredible heights of 193,750.