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Four unique mobiles by Ib Geertsen offered in Dorotheum's Design Auction
A "Cirkelmobile" Ib Geertsen 1954, black and blue lacquered iron, c. 110 x 150 cm. A unique piece. With a certificate from Birthe Geertsen, Head of the IB GEERTSEN FOUNDATION and Ib Geertsen’s widow. Provenance: Ib Geertsen Private Collection - Private Collection, Belgium. Estimate € 30,000 - 36,000.

VIENNA.- Ib Geertsen (1940 –2009), a leading Danish representative of Concrete Art, chose mobiles up to three meters in height as one of the many expressions of his diverse oeuvre. For him they were “aerial drawings”. Four particularly prominent examples of these, all of them unique, will be available at Dorotheum’s Design Online Auction on 7 October 2020.

Originally from the private collection of the artist and subsequently from a Belgian private collection, the 1.5 by 1.1 metre early piece “Cirkelmobile” is a unique item. Attached to the ceiling or a branch, this 1954 mobile made of black and blue lacquered iron looks like a three-dimensional moving drawing that constantly changes playfully and poetically as a result of drafts or wind (estimate € 30,000 – 36,000).

Finer, more energetic lines characterise the “Mobile” from 1967, which is painted in red and light blue and is 2.5 metres long at its largest point (€ 12,000 – 18,000). Two other works by Ib Geertsen are intended as mobiles, and are designed in wide, red and blue aluminium loops. “Tegn I” and “Tegn IV” (1958-62), meaning “sign” in English, might look like different characters from an unknown alphabet, or like notes. In fact, some interpreters have called Ib Geertsen’s mobile his “atmospheric chamber music” (€ 8,000 – 12,000, € 8,000 – 15,000).

The term “mobile” goes back to Marcel Duchamp, who used it from the 1930s onwards when describing Alexander Calder’s early works.

Geertsen, who was in favour of an open style transcending genre boundaries, mainly created colourful abstract paintings, often with his signature drop shape, and decorated many of Denmark’s public buildings and parks with paintings and (walk-in) sculptures. He was a founding member of the “Linien II” group, which between 1949 and 1952 combined Danish and international Concrete Art.

From 1900 until today
The main focus of the design auction is on mid-century and contemporary design, beginning with turn-of-the century bentwood furniture and continuing through the Bauhaus. The sale includes an ensemble of standardized furniture of the “Frankfurt kitchen” by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (€ 10,000 – 15,000). A set of six S-chairs mod. no. 275 (€ 20,000 – 30,000), designed by Verner Panton in 1956, is also up for auction, as well as a set of four oversized ceramic sculptures, designed by Alessandro Mendini in 2008, for Superego Editions (€ 20,000 – 28,000). In terms of contemporary design, a “bookworm” sidetable designed by Ron Arad in 1993 (€ 7,000 – 12,000) and a “mobile bar” sideboard mod. Bertrand, designed in 1987 by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Memphis Milano (€ 7,000 – 12,000) round up the offer.

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