Big names, top quality and renowned provenances that sums up best the Autumn Auctions at Ketterer Kunst
in Munich on December 11/12.
While the section of 19th Century Art features fascinating works by acclaimed artists like Carl Spitzweg, Franz von Stuck and Pierre August Renoir, the top lot in the Modern Art department is a superb document of the successful artistic transition of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. The oil painting Unser Haus shows the Grisons farmstead just below Stafelalp where the artist lived together with his partner Erna Schilling. It is one of the earliest works from the Davos era and at the same time an excellent document of the beginning stylistic transition from the Big City Expressionism of his days in Dresden and Berlin to an objectification of his motifs in a rural setting. The tremendously colorful work makes the artists deeply felt content and his growing assertiveness in a life eventful and likewise fragile almost tangible. It comes directly from his estate and has its premiere on the auction market with an estimate of 500,000-700,000.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is represented with more top-class works. The oil painting Frau mit Ziege estimated at 250,000-350,000 and made the year he committed suicide, reveals a long kept secret. The title Zwei Tänzerinnen (Two Dancers), as inscribed by the artist in large letters on verso of the canvas, suggests that Kirchner may have painted the depiction of the striding woman with goats over an older painting. An X-ray examination executed a couple of weeks ago produced proof of a dynamic and sophisticated composition of a dance scene. One thing can now be said for sure: The work that was painted over in spring 1938 is Zwei tanzende Frauenakte from the late 1920s, which the catalog raisonné from 1968 identified as Location unknown.
Another fascinating piece that Ernst Ludwig Kirchner painted on both sides comes from the Collection Olbricht and will be called up with an estimate of 200,000-300,000. While the gouache Sitzende mit großem Hut, Emy Frisch from 1908 emanates the airiness of relaxed summer days spent on the Baltic island of Fehmarn with an attractive woman, the 1910 pastel- and chalks drawing Szene im Atelier (Fränzi (Marzella) und Artistin) provides epic insights into the artists everyday life.
Emil Noldes extraordinary two-sided oil painting Schauspielerin (recto, 1919)/Piazza S. Domenico II, Taormina (verso, 1905) was is possession of the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf for nearly 70 years. After the state capital Düsseldorf had officially restituted the work to the heirs of the Jewish timber trader Curt Schueler last year in line with the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, it is now
offered for 400,000-600,000 an exceptional opportunity for both art lovers and collectors. Those who love Noldes watercolors and the sea will rejoice in Sonnenuntergang mit zwei Seglern and Sturzwelle unter violettem Himmel (each estimated at 120,000-150,000).
Gabriele Münter is also represented with a couple of lots, the array is led by two very special gems: Estimated at 250,000-350,000, her Blick aufs Murnauer Moos (Blaue Berge) captivated first observers in the catalog of exhibitions at the Munich Lenbachhaus and the Frankfurt Schirn. The bold and top quality composition was made at the artists peak of creation around 1910 and takes us to her beloved Blaues Land in the most audacious forms and colors. A little earlier Münter had just completed her important transition from a (late-)impressionist style to an expressive color painting. The work Haus mit Schneebäumen in Kochel was made in autumn 1908 and is one of the rare views of the town of Kochel in her uvre. It comes from the artists estate and has a consistent provenance. The estimate is at 200,000-300,000.
Unequaled in the uvre of Alexej von Jawlensky is an unusually abstract composition from 1917 that is characterized by a high degree of bright and colorful expressiveness. The work Stillleben, in which the artist just hints at the blossoms through the brushwork, is an absolute rarity and has a gravitation center that enabled the artist to render his lifelong quest for spiritual clarity. Family-owned for decades, it now has its premiere on the auction market with an estimate of 80,000-120,000.
Next to Wilhelm Lehmbrucks gracious sculpture Gebeugter weiblicher Torso (estimate: 180,000-220,000), which was family-owned for 90 years after its acquisition from Galerie Alfred Flechtheim and now also has its first appearance on the art market, the section of Modern Art comprises oil paintings by Lovis Corinth (Rosen, Tulpen und Flieder, estimate: 150,000-200,000), Karl Hofer (Sibylle, estimate: 100,000-150,000) and Wladimir Georgiewitsch von Bechtejeff (Zirkusszene, estimate: 140,000-180,000) as well as works by, among others, Otto Dix, Max Liebermann, Jeanne Mammen, Leo Putz, Georg Schrimpf and Alfons Walde.
Top positions in the section of Post War /Contemporary Art are occupied by Tony Cragg, Anselm Kiefer and Andy Warhol: Cragg is represented with an untitled stainless steel sculpture dated 2010 with a perfect symbiosis of impressive, high gloss polished material aesthetics and balanced, rhythmic dynamics. Kiefer once more succeeds in visualizing complex relationships and in outlining the relevance of ancient knowledge for the present age with his mixed media work Domenica in ramis palmarum from 2007. In contrast thereto, Warhols Portrait of a Lady from 1982 is the timeless embodiment of Pop Art. This iconic image is a striking document of his obsession with immaculate beauty. All three works are estimated at 250,000-350,000 each.
Yves Kleins Monochrome bleu sans titre from 1958/59 will enter the race with an estimate of 200,000-300,000. The unusual landscape format with its strong power of attraction was made after the artists seminal exhibition Le Vide at Galerie Iris Clert in Paris.
Some large sizes come from Daniel Richter, Günther Förg and Katharina Grosse: Fühlung, Flirrung, Flüchtung dated 1999 was made during Daniel Richters abstract period of creation which helped him to his breakthrough as one of the top contemporary artists in the 1990s. This symbiosis of chance and plan, kitsch and grace, abstraction and association will be called up with an estimate of 180,000-240,000.
Apparent opposites are also united in Günther Förgs work from 2003, estimated at 150,000-250;000, it lets the composition's geometrical strictness clash with the spontaneity of a vibrant color application.
Comparable color fields by the artist are in many acclaimed international collections and museums like the MOMA in New York or the Städel in Frankfurt.
Katharina Grosse, currently honored in a spectacular exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, is represented with a highly dynamic spatial color mesh in which stacked dimensions make color comprehensible as a phenomenon of pure visuality. The estimate is at 140,000-180,000.
Gerhard Richters work Ohne Titel (5 Mai 1998) with an estimate of 120,000-150,000 is offered on the international auction market for the first time. The small oil painting is particularly captivating for its mesmerizing blue, as well as for the interplay of different techniques through which the artist realizes a spectacular composition of the surface.
Heinz Macks large-format Lichtfächer was made in 1964, the year the group ZERO celebrated its international breakthrough at documenta 3. The estimate for this work that is characterized by a unique optical intensity and radiance is at 120,000-150,000.
Next to two works by Arnulf Rainer (Schwarze Übermalung auf Braun, estimate: 120,000-150,000 and Eikopfbüste, estimate: 100,000-150,000) the section of Post War /Contemporary Art offers more highlights from artists like Stephan Balkenhol, Willi Baumeister, Adrian Ghenie, Gotthard Graubner, Hans Hartung, Konrad Klapheck, Per Kirkeby, Norbert Kricke, Markus Lüpertz, Hermann Nitsch and Thomas Struth.
Additionally, the auction comprises fascinating works from renowned collections like the Collection Deutsche Bank (see separate press release) and the Collection Franz Haniel & Cie.