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Berlin, 21 March 2024: “The Rudolf Zwirner Collection: Works on Paper” – A Highlight of the Upcoming Summer Auctions

Grisebach is delighted to announce a first highlight of the upcoming Summer Auctions (30th and 31st May 2024). A pioneer of the Cologne art market, Rudolf Zwirner ranks among the most important and trend-setting gallery owners of the 20th century. A fine selection from his private collection of 29 works on paper spanning four centuries will be sold at Grisebach on 30th May in the special auction “The Rudolf Zwirner Collection: Works on Paper.” With a total median estimate of EUR 700,000, this curated selection testifies to Zwirner‘s refined sense for exceptional quality and his keen eye for beauty.

Over the course of some 300 exhibitions, the passionate art dealer’s Cologne gallery has showcased works by icons like Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke. Acting on behalf of Peter Ludwig, his most important collector-client, Zwirner also acquired numerous treasures of modern art. To this day, they are among the most significant exhibits at the Cologne museum bearing Ludwig’s name. Another of Zwirner’s contributions towards elevating the city to a leading art center was his role in co-founding its first fair for contemporary art in 1967, an event which set standards throughout the world. Since 1996, Zwirner has been living and working in his home city of Berlin again.

This said, the Zwirner Collection is focused not so much on the works that marked his professional career as an art dealer, and instead is dedicated first and foremost to artists whom he hardly ever represented or sold. This is a “collector‘s collection” in the best sense of the term: Unencumbered by any kind of systematic approach or claim to completeness, it is devoted exclusively to the collector’s personal preferences and desire for discovery, having been compiled with an unrivalled understanding of artistic quality.

The auction‘s top lot will be the gouache by Pierre-Paul Prud‘hon L‘Enlèvement de Psyché (estimate: EUR 200,000 to 300,000), a preliminary study created around 1808 for the major painting Psyché exposée sur le rocher est enlevé par les Zephyrs qui la transportent dans la demeure de l‘Amour, which can be admired in the Louvre. Rudolf Zwirner feels that in this gouache, the sense of lightness and the wind’s breath are even more palpable and perceptible than in the large oil version created later. Another rarity on offer will be Carnet Guernesey from 1856, an almost abstract image by the great French novelist Victor Hugo. One of his few large-format works (EUR 100,000 to150,000), it epitomizes the interplay between writing and drawing, language and image so typical of Hugo’s paintings, not to mention his deep-seated fascination with dark and somber scenery.
Other highlights of the collection include Rembrandt‘s etching Landscape with a Cottage and Haybarn: Oblong from 1641 (EUR 50,000 to 70,000) and the watercolour print by Max Ernst Plantation farcineuse hydropique parasite from 1921 (EUR 40,000 to 60,000).


Berlin, January 2024: Globally Connected: Michèle Sandoz new Managing Director Grisebach Switzerland

It is with great pleasure that Grisebach introduces our new Managing Director and representative of Grisebach Switzerland: Michèle Sandoz has a long-standing track record of over 25 years within the international art world and is deeply connected in the global art market. Many of you will already know Michèle Sandoz from her tenure at Art Basel, where she held the role of Global Head of VIP Relations and member of the Management Board for nearly a decade. She spearheaded the global development and execution of Art Basel’s client strategy and lead the worldwide VIP teams along with its global client network. Prior to that, Michèle headed Christie’s Zurich office as General Manager for seven years. Most recently, as Head of the Art Initiative for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, she initiated the Art Prize for Humanity.

Michèle Sandoz was born in Zimbabwe where she spent her childhood and partly in Niger. She studied East Asian Art History and Chinese Language and Culture at the University of Zurich and at the Beijing Language and Cultural University in China. During that time, she spent many years in China and Taiwan. Currently she sits on various advisory boards which reflect her cultural involvement worldwide, eg. Member of the Advisory Board of the Executive Master in Art Market Studies (EMAMS) at the University of Zurich, Board Member of the Lagos Biennial (Nigeria), and of the art fair Paris Internationale. Furthermore, she is the Founding Member of the Global Council of the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (ZEITZ MOCAA) in Cape Town (South Africa).

Daniel von Schacky, Grisebach’s Managing Partner, adds:
“I am delighted that with Michèle Sandoz as new Managing Director for Switzerland we have won a highly experienced and globally connected art professional. Together, we will continue to raise Grisebach’s profile in Switzerland and beyond, while further development the company’s strategy towards a stronger focus on digitalization, internationality and contemporary art.”

Grisebach has been present in Switzerland since 1990 and opened in 1998 its first office on Zurich’s famed Bahnhofstrasse. Thanks to the longstanding tradition of collecting art in Switzerland in the core areas of the company, Grisebach Switzerland has grown over the years into a cornerstone of the company’s international activities. Besides providing art consulting services and auction estimates, the office also regularly hosts events and exhibitions.


Berlin, 6 December 2023: Spectacular hammer prices in the millions: The results of the Winter Auctions at Grisebach

The most recent Winter Auctions saw Grisebach securing bids in the millions for three exceptional works. The most hotly fought-over painting was Lyonel Feininger’s museum-quality seascape Wolken überm Meer I, whose bid price soared from EUR 800,000 to EUR 2,368,000 during a long and suspenseful international bidding battle playing out in the saleroom and over the phones. The successful bidder was a private collection in Northern Germany. A further highlight of the “Selected Works” auction was the sale of Caspar David Friedrich’s Karlsruher Skizzenbuch of 1804. This work, which had been privately held until now and was estimated at EUR 1 to 1.5 million, ultimately changed hands for an impressive EUR 1,819,000. Another result of international note was the third million-euro bid to be placed that same evening: Emil Nolde’s strikingly expressive painting Mohn und blaue Lupinen from the collection of Anneliese and Dr. Wolfgang Schieren and was sold to a Berlin-based private collection for EUR 1,636,000 following vigorous in-room and telephone bidding.

Other lots commanded top prices as well: Nolde’s masterwork In Demut from 1946 went to a Northern German private collection for EUR 889,000, while René Magritte’s airy cloudscape La Malédiction found a new owner in the Swiss art-dealing sector for EUR 609,600. A world record was achieved for Grosse Daphne, a graceful sculpture by Renée Sintenis, which was acquired by a private collection in Southern Germany for EUR 508,000 after fierce competition among half a dozen bidders, more than doubling its original upper estimate (EUR 150,000 – EUR 200,000). Balthasar Lobo’s abstract sculpture Pièce d’eau sur socle likewise fetched EUR 508,000 and will now grace a private collection in Northern Germany. There was strong demand for the two paintings by Hans Hartung on offer: The large-scale composition T 1980 H 34 from 1980 went to a private collection in Switzerland for EUR 457,200, while T1948-41 from 1948 was purchased by a Swiss art dealership for EUR 330,200, doubling its original lower estimate.

The “Selected Works” auction also saw strong international interest, both in the room and over the phones, for the contemporary pieces on offer: The impressive oil painting Untitled by Per Kirkeby from 2011 went to a Scandinavian art dealer for EUR 444,500, while a private collection in New York City secured Untitled, an oil painting from 1990 characteristic of Günther Förg’s individual abstract style, for EUR 317,500. Another standout lot was David Hockney’s work on paper Ouesten from 1994, which doubled its estimate to EUR 222,250 and will also go to the United States.

Having achieved an annual turnover of over EUR 47 million, Grisebach looks back on a decidedly successful auction year!

* All results incl. buyer’s premium


Berlin, 2 November 2023: Preview: Several masterworks and one true sensation at Grisebach’s Winter Auctions

It’s nothing less than electrifying: On 30th November 2023, Caspar David Friedrich’s Karlsruher Skizzenbuch of 1804 will be offered for sale at Grisebach – the first time ever one of the artist’s bound sketchbooks has surfaced on the auction market. Privately held until now, it is the last of the booklets known to have belonged to Friedrich and will be the highlight of this year’s Winter Auctions at Grisebach (EUR 1,000,000/1,500,000). Of the around twenty sketchbooks the great Romantic artist once owned, only six survive - four are held by the National Museum in Oslo, while a fifth forms part of the collection of Dresden’s Kupferstichkabinett. For nearly two centuries, the Karlsruher Skizzenbuch was preserved by the descendants of Georg Friedrich Kersting, a close friend and fellow artist who painted the most important portraits of Friedrich and who came to own the Skizzenbuch either during Friedrich’s lifetime or shortly thereafter (press release of 9th October 2023).

Another top lot of the Selected Works auction is Wolken überm Meer I, a masterwork of focused intensity by Lyonel Feininger, who is currently being given his first major retrospective in Germany in over 25 years at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. In this painting from 1923, the artist deploys formal means to radical effect in capturing the atmospheric experience of the open expanses against the horizon. With its towering cloud formations boldly broken down into block-like flat surfaces, the composition marks a key turning point in Feininger’s transition to a more abstract visual style (EUR 800,000/1,200,000).

The 1950 painting Mohn und blaue Lupinen by Emil Nolde is another example of an artist’s encounter with nature. In particular poppy flowers, whose striking form and colour stand out so markedly from the wide spaces of the landscape, were a motif the artist returned to time and again. Our painting is the expressive culmination of Nolde’s nearly 50 years of working on floral still lifes, which were the primary source of inspiration for his brightly hued painterly style (EUR 800,000/1,200,000). We are delighted to be offering it along with a further masterpiece by the artist: In Demut from 1946, a dramatic juxtaposition between radiantly glowing colours and an introspective mood (EUR 700,000/900,000).  

In the years before his emigration from Germany, landscapes played a highly narrative role in the oeuvre of Max Beckmann. His parkscapes are “artificial worlds that deal in a very fundamental way with fantasies of creative power and creative depletion.” The idyll of Springbrunnen in Baden-Baden is a deceptive one. What seems like a mere vista of the spa resort’s park at noon on a spring day gradually reveals a sense of confinement and stasis that pervades the scene, belying its apparent innocence. Like no other of the artist’s paintings of Baden-Baden, it is dominated by nuanced green tones. Beckmann needed the colour green for its ability to “soothe his soul” (EUR 700,000/1,000,000).

The remote fishing village of Jershöft on the East Pomeranian coast was a recurring motif for Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, a leading exponent of German Expressionism. But although he often showed the hamlet bathed in the rays of a scorching run, rarely did he capture the atmosphere of a sultry midsummer day so incisively as in his gaily coloured Bootshaus in Jershöft (Rettungshaus am Strand) from 1920 (EUR 600,000/800,000).

The Selected Works Auction on 30th November also will include several high-quality works by Ernst Wilhelm Nay: Alpha, from 1957, a paragon of his “disc paintings,” with its powerful colours arranged in consummate compositional density (EUR 400,000/600,000); the luminescent Gelb-Orange-Kobalt I from 1967 (EUR 200,000/300,000); the cheerful, masterfully executed Angelika from 1946 (EUR 120,000/150,000); and Fischer, a significant composition from 1936 (EUR 120,000/150,000).

Further prime exemplars of post-War art will include 21.07.50-Saint-Jeoire - Montagne jaune from 1950, a yellow-dominated composition highly characteristic of the work of Zao Wou-Ki, a French painter with Chinese roots (EUR 400,000/600,000), as well as René Magritte’s famous small painting La Malédiction from 1963, where his signature cloud formations hover over the sky like unsettlingly foreign objects (EUR 300,000/400,000).  

Of particular note are the works on offer from the collection of Johanna and Leslie Garfield, the husband-and-wife collectors from New York City who focused on German Expressionism. The spectacular highlights here are George Grosz’ large-scale watercolour Nächtliche Szene, Berlin from 1925 (69.3 x 98.5 cm, EUR 300,000/400,000), along with two extensive portfolio works by Max Beckmann, Gesichter from 1919 (EUR 40,000/60,000) and Berliner Reise from 1922 (EUR 50,000/70,000). Further works from the Leslie & Johanna Garfield Collection will be featured in our Modern Art auction on 1st December 2023. Grisebach will also hold a special auction devoted to over 80 works from this important trove of German Expressionist graphic art in February of 2024.  

Our curated evening auction also brings together a carefully selected and diverse range of works of contemporary art. The imposing oil Untitled from 2011 by Danish painter Per Kirkeby practically invites the viewer to climb inside its monumental, abstract landscape and embark on long expeditions. It exemplifies the influence that Kirkeby’s experiences in Greenland exerted on his art throughout his life (EUR 350,000/550,000). By contrast, Günther Förg’s Untitled, an impressive painting on lead from 1990 (EUR 250,000/350,000), gives the viewer a sense of melting into the almost oceanic expanse of the horizon. Die schöne Hausfrau (1967) by Konrad Klapheck, who died in July of this year, forms part of that major series of works centering on water faucets and shower heads in which, by imbuing the scene with his signature sense of exaggerated narrative, the artist allows us to imagine that these objects actually have some sort of personal, even family rapport with one another – involving sympathy, antipathy or, in this case, even sexual attraction (EUR 180,000/240,000).

Last but not least is A.R. Penck’s Soldato convenzionale, created in 1990, the year of German reunification. Using his highly symbolic visual idiom, the artist produces an impressively dense work that showcases his unsurpassed ability to translate the history of Germany’s post-war division into a visual narrative (EUR 160,000/200,000).

Great Women Artists at Grisebach: Here the focus is on exciting, top-quality works by internationally established women artists, especially in the realm of contemporary art. Ladder Rising by the American painter Alice Baber from 1965 was one of the works featured in her first individual exhibition in Germany (EUR 20,000/30,000). Christa Dichgans’s paintings Puppe (EUR 15,000/20,000) and Clown, both from 1969, reflect the artist’s preoccupation with toys and playthings. The installation Andere Bedingung (Aggregatzustand 1) (EUR 40,000/60,000) and the sculpture Watch (Münz) (EUR 12,000/15,000), two works by Alicja Kwade typical of her oeuvre, present theoretical meditations on the physical laws of time and space. Self-Effacing Management Politics, a bronze from 2016 by French artist Camille Henrot, forms part of her Desktop Series (EUR 35,000/45,000).  Himmelswurzeln by Rebecca Horn is a large paper work from 2013 (EUR 30,000/40,000). Works by two contemporary women artists from Austria and one from Switzerland round out this impressive line-up: Martha Jungwirth’s large-format water colour Untitled from 2007 (EUR 30,000/40,000), Maria Lassnig’s Denkerin from 1981, a typical self-portrait (EUR 60,000/80,000) and, finally, Verena Loewensberg’s virtuosic painting Untitled from 1972 (EUR 40,000/60,000).

Leading the 19th Century Art sale is Philipp Otto Runge’s Bildnis des Bruders Jakob Runge from April/May 1801, one of the last large drawings by the artist to have remained in private hands. In this intimately rendered portrait, Runge expresses his affection for his brother Jakob along with his own homesickness (EUR 250,000/350,000). Alte Elbbrücke bei Meissen is another rare work by Caspar David Friedrich which we are privileged to offer. Likewise originating from the estate of Georg Friedrich Kersting, it is the only watercolour study of this visual motif the artist elaborated in colour, as well as a very early example of Friedrich’s conceptual use of closely framed vistas (EUR 200,000/300,000). A further highlight is Friedrich Nerly’s early, spectacular oil study on paper Blick auf Venedig im Abendlicht, an iconic view of the famous Venetian skyline (EUR 100,000/150,000).  

All told, the four Winter Auctions to be held on 30th November and 1st December will feature 549 artworks with a lower-range estimate totalling 22 million euros.

The previews of all works will be held from 22nd until 29th November in Berlin at Fasanenstrasse 25 and 27. Caspar David Friedrich’s Karlsruher Skizzenbuch will remain on view in Zurich until 8th November. It will then be shown in New York from 11th to 15th November and finally in Berlin from 22nd until 29th November.



Berlin, 9 October 2023: A true sensation: Caspar David Friedrich’s Karlsruher Skizzenbuch von 1804 will headline the November 30th sale at Grisebach – the very first time one of his sketchbooks will be offered at auction

  • Estimate: EUR 1 to 1.5 million
  • The artist’s first sketchbook ever offered at auction
  • Part of a family collection for 200 years and the only known sketchbook in private hands
  • Comparable works in museums in Dresden and Oslo
  • Sale at Grisebach, Berlin on 30th November 2023 at 6 p.m.

Grisebach is delighted to present Caspar David Friedrich’s Karlsruher Skizzenbuch von 1804 – the very first time a complete sketchbook by the artist will be offered at auction. It is the last of the known sketchbooks to be in private hands. Of the twenty bound sketchbooks that probably existed, only six survive. Four of them, are held by the National Museum in Oslo, while a fifth forms part of the collection of the Kupferstichkabinett in Dresden. Created between 1802 and 1806 – a period regarded as the most important years for the artist’s creative development – their pages regal the viewer with a wealth of visual impressions Friedrich recorded during his walks through Dresden and its surroundings.

From April 25th until June 1st, 1804, this was the sketchbook the artist would slip into the pockets of his travelling coat again and again. It is referred to as the Karlsruher Skizzenbuch because that is the city where it was held ever since passing into the hands of Georg Friedrich Kersting during Friedrich’s lifetime or shortly after his death. Kersting was a fellow painter and close friend who created the most important portraits of Caspar David Friedrich. His descendants have preserved the sketchbook in their private collection for nearly two centuries.

Drawings record the origins of the inspiration for later paintings. This holds particularly true for Caspar David Friedrich, the “inventor of the symbolist landscape,” as the Dresden art historian Hans Joachim Neidhardt put it. An uncompromising innovator of German landscape painting, Friedrich played a key role in the dawning of European Romanticism, the harbinger, better yet: the radical manifestation of the paradigm shift that would culminate in Modernism. These drawings afford us the most intimate insights into the thoughts and imagination of an epochally seminal artist seeking to conceive his images. What was it that caught his attention? Which motifs did he select, what sections did he choose for his work? “The sketchbook allows us to see through Friedrich’s own eyes: lone trees and copses, trunks drawn as if dissected by his pencil, delicate landscapes and village vistas, distant horizons and broad expanses, careful studies of ships and clouds and birds on the wing.” (Anna Ahrens, Head of Department 19th Century Art at Grisebach)

The Karlsruher Skizzenbuch accompanied Friedrich nearly his entire life. Even years later, he would return to it, transferring motifs into his painted worlds. One of them is the famous oak tree on page 9, which he used in three of his main works: In the left foreground of the early Hünengrab im Schnee (1806/7, Dresden State Art Collections), to the right of the ruin in Abtei im Eichwald (1809/10, Berlin State Museums, Old National Gallery), and as a defining element in the foreground to the right in the large-scale

Klosterfriedhof im Schnee from 1817/19 (which was destroyed during World War II). In summary, we are looking at an object whose significance for the artist’s creative process can hardly be exaggerated.

Dr. Christina Grummt, author of the catalogue raisonné of the drawings by Caspar David Friedrich:

“The ‘Karlsruher Skizzenbuch von 1804’ – a milestone among Friedrich’s graphic works – will inspire and enrich future research into Germany’s most famous Romantic artist.”

Daniel von Schacky,

Managing Partner at Grisebach:

“This little booklet is full of magic. A revelation. From the very first instant, you sense how unique it is. It is a great honour for all of us at Grisebach to be allowed to offer an item of such rarity, museum-level quality, and extraordinary provenance. We know this will excite private collectors and institutions alike.”


Berlin, 6 June 2023: Strong Interest for Post-War and Contemporary Art at Grisebach: The Results of the Summer Auctions in Berlin

The most expensive lot in the “Selected Works” auction came from the realm of modern art: August Macke‘s idyllic scene Mann auf Bank from 1913 was snapped up for a private collection in North Germany for a top hammer price of EUR 1,125,000. Max Pechstein‘s Expressionist work Sonnenflecken found a new home in a South German private collection for EUR 500,000, while Max Beckmann‘s small-format composition Hängematte generated lively interest from Germany and abroad before being sold to a South German bidder for EUR 400,000. Lovis Corinth‘s erotically charged Maske im weissen Kleid, a portrait of his wife-to-be Charlotte, went to a private collection in Berlin for EUR 312,500.

Interest in top works of post-war and contemporary art was remarkably strong. An outstanding result was achieved, for example, for Untitled, Günther Förg‘s impressive 12-part series of lead paintings from 1987, which was awarded for a hammer price of EUR 550,000 to a German collector after a lengthy bidding battle. Hans Hartung‘s T 1985 - H 34, an exceptional work from 1985, was also keenly fought over, doubling its lower estimate to EUR 287,500 and changing hands to a private collection in Switzerland. An increase in value was also achieved for Gegen Abend I (Towards Evening I), a painting that epitomizes the signature style of Per Kirkeby; this was acquired for EUR 275,000 by a private collection in South Germany. The EUR 237,500 paid by a private North German collection for Anselm Kiefer‘s collage Jakobsleiter from 2003 caused quite a stir, as did the EUR 193,750 bid for Imi Knoebel‘s 1984 painting Untitled, since these bids effectively doubled the lower estimates of each of the works. A special edition of Gerhard Richter’s book object War Cut II commanded a winning bid of EUR 187,500 and is now owned by a private collection in Hesse. This wave of success is positive proof of the strong demand driving a buyer‘s market for post-war and contemporary art.

With the 19th Century Art auction, the summer sales already got off to a successful start. The lively bidding interest exhibited by a number of public institutions was a pleasant surprise – thus, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden acquired eleven of the series of fourteen floral silhouette paper cuts by Philipp Otto Runge. The “Munich beauty,” Joseph Karl Stieler’s famous portrait of Helene Sedlmayr, also proved to be a highly coveted lot: Originally appraised at EUR 80,000 - 120,000, it ultimately racked up a record price of EUR 237,500. The buyer was the Edith Haberland Wagner Foundation in Munich, which intends to show the work and make it accessible to the public. The haunting, large-scale portrait Bildnis eines hessischen Bauernmädchens by Carl Bantzer was another standout, multiplying its original estimate of EUR 35,000 - 45,000 to EUR 118,750. It will now move to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt.

Daniel von Schacky, Spokesman of the Managing Board and Partner:
“I am gratified by this strong demand for contemporary art; it shows that we are on the right track in this regard and that we will be able to place an even greater weight on this particular segment going forward.”

The sales turnover for the first half of 2023 amounts to EUR 18 million.


Berlin, 10 May 2023: Powerful Harmonies – Highlights of the 2023 Summer Auctions at Grisebach

If our eyes could hear, then it would be the orotund tones of the trumpet in Lyonel Feininger’s Trompetenbläser im Dorf, the 1915 masterwork leading this season´s sale. This multifaceted painting, vibrating with colour, from the artist’s estate is most decidedly a work of first-rank museum quality (EUR 2,000,000/3,000,000). 

The other showstoppers in the “Selected Works” auction come from the storied Blaue Reiter circle. August Macke’s idyllic Mann auf Bank from 1913 is exceptional for the way the artist captures light within a pared-down palette of pigments – a painting in which colour as such attains a new weight, quality, and brilliance (EUR 900,000/1,200,000). In Blaue Kuh, a work painted in tempera around the same time, Franz Marc elevates the cow into an unexpectedly potent, awe-inspiring creature using his favorite, symbolic colour scheme of blue, yellow, and red (EUR 700,000/900,000).

The Expressionistic Sonnenflecken, which Max Pechstein painted in 1922 in Leba, his preferred getaway on the Baltic Coast, conveys an enchanted eventide mood imbued with poetry and tranquility (EUR 400,000/600,000). Contrast this with Max Beckmann’s small but sophisticated composition Hängematte from 1942, whose innate tension and strikingly accentuated surfaces create a surprisingly monumental effect (EUR 300,000/400,000). Lovis Corinth’s Maske im weissen Kleid (Charlotte Berend) from 1902 was painted during the artist’s most important creative period and depicts his 21-year-old future wife, as seen through the magical looking glass of blossoming love (EUR 250,000/350,000). Another highlight will be an outstanding work from Hans Hartung’s later oeuvre: T 1985 - H 34 (1985), a dynamic composition of dramatically clashing contrasts (EUR 120,000/150,000).   

The “Selected Works” sale likewise will showcase sensational examples of contemporary art. Such as Untitled, an impressive, never yet auctioned series of 12 paintings on lead from 1987 by Günther Förg, perhaps one of the most versatile figures on today’s art scene (EUR 300,000/400,000) – a comparable 10-part work on lead currently is held by the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. The American artist Sol LeWitt, known as an exponent of Minimalism in combination with “Concept Art,” a term which he himself coined, is represented with the iconic sculpture “Pyramid” from 1996 (EUR 200,000/300,000). Per Kirkeby’s Gegen Abend I (Towards Evening I) from 1984 is a work epitomizing the artist’s approach to visualizing his first-hand experience of nature with dramatic painted gestures (EUR 200,000/300,000). The tense standoff between anarchy and the order of “the system,” a theme informing all of the works by A.R. Penck, is brought to a hair-raising climax in the large-scale pictographic painting Stadt der Konflikte (EUR 160,000/200,000).

An exceptionally charming discovery to be featured in the 19th Century Art auction is a series of 14 floral silhouette paper cuts by Philipp Otto Runge from the estate of the Hamburg family of artists descended from Erwin and Otto Speckter (each between EUR 20,000/35,000). Some of the French Masters who wowed Berliners in the blockbuster exhibition The Most Beautiful French Come from New York (2007) will be back in town as well: Camille Corot, Théodore Rousseau, Théodore Gudin, and other early plein-air painters who paved the way for Impressionism will be represented by impressive works of their own. One painting in particular will attract attention in Munich: Joseph Karl Stieler’s “Helene Sedlmayr” from 1831/34 is a hitherto unknown second version of the famous portrait from the Schönheitengalerie in Nymphenburg Palace and was probably a gift from King Ludwig I to Helene Sedlmayr (EUR 80,000/120,000).

All told, the four “Summer Auctions” to be held on 1 and 2 June 2023 will feature 552 artworks with an aggregate median estimate of EUR 19.9 million – a 15% increase relative to the prior year.

A preview all works will take place in Berlin at three locations on Fasanenstrasse (Nos. 25, 27 and 73) from 24 to 31 May 2023.


Berlin, 14 December 2022: A new generation takes the helm at Grisebach with Daniel von Schacky and Diandra Donecker as new majority partners

As of January 1st, 2023, Daniel von Schacky (46) will assume the leadership of the prestigious German auction house as chairman of the management board. Working in tandem with Diandra Donecker (34), a managing partner since 2019 and the largest minority shareholder going forward, von Schacky will pick up the baton as the major shareholder from founder Bernd Schultz. Together with Micaela Kapitzky and Dr. Markus Krause, also long-standing partners, they will steer the enterprise into the future.

The new leadership duo’s strategic development plan intends to focus on digitalization and internationalization, while placing a greater emphasis on post-war and contemporary art.

Daniel von Schacky, who has family ties to the company, already served Grisebach from 2006 to 2016 as director, partner, and head of the Contemporary Art department. Since 2016, he has been active as an art dealer and consultant specializing in contemporary art from his home base in Düsseldorf. His decades of international experience are complemented by an extensive personal network that encompasses leading private and corporate collections in Europe and the United States.

Bernd Schultz, who founded the company in 1986 together with four colleagues from the art-dealing world and went on to lead it with great success in the intervening decades, will continue to work for Grisebach after the change at the top: As chairman of the company’s advisory board and as partner, he will be there to give the benefit of his advice, contacts, and expertise. Micaela Kapitzky and Dr. Markus Krause, meanwhile, will continue to apply their in-depth expertise and experience in overseeing the growth of the Modern Art department, the core of Grisebach’s business.  

Daniel von Schacky: “I look forward to embarking upon a new chapter in the winning track record of the company together with Diandra Donecker, Micaela Kapitzky, Markus Krause, our commercial director Rigmor Stüssel, and all the other Grisebach staffers. I would like to thank Bernd Schultz for placing his trust in me to carry on his life’s work with this outstanding team. This is an honour as well as an obligation.  

Grisebach finds itself in a favourable position: Just a few days ago, we achieved the highest hammer price ever seen at auction in Germany, 23.2 million euros for Beckmann’s ‘Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa.’ This year also saw the company earn the highest turnover in its history: 73 million euros. We can and will build on Grisebach’s impressive track record and on the uncompromising standard of quality championed by our company’s exceptional team; at the same time, we intend to orient the company even more strongly towards international and contemporary art in the coming years.”

Bernd Schultz: “Daniel von Schacky and Diandra Donecker have the personal and strategic qualities, the business acumen, and the contacts that it takes to drive Grisebach’s modernization and internationalization and to secure the enterprise’s viability over the long term. Both boast exceptional expertise and are highly familiar with the needs of our clientele. I look towards the future of the company with great confidence.”


Berlin, 6 December 2022: World class: A self-portrait by Max Beckmann commands a sensational price, sets a record for Germany

23.2 million euros! When the hammer came down on Max Beckmann’s Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa from 1943, a global record had been set at Grisebach’s evening auction. Vying against competitors from five countries, a bidder from Switzerland ultimately won the day. This is the highest amount ever paid for a work of art sold at auction in Germany, and the second-highest attained worldwide for a self-portrait by the artist.

Bernd Schultz: “It is entirely appropriate for this masterpiece of the 20th century to command an exceptional price! With this success, Grisebach has set a mark where the German art market is concerned and has put Berlin back on the map as the arena for world-class auction results. This consignment and its excellent outcome bear witness to the trust and confidence placed in our company for its expertise and international profile.”

A packed auction room and the participation of numerous telephone bidders from all over the world were harbingers of the resounding success that the “Selected Works” sale were to become. Otto Dix’s unique painting Katzen (Theodor Däubler gewidmet) sold to a German private collection for EUR 985,000. The artist’s 1924 water colour Mädchen mit roter Tasche doubled its original estimate (EUR 100,000 – 150,000) to EUR 300,000, going to a collection in the United States after stiff competition from bidders in Britain and Germany.

There was also keen demand for every one of the works by Max Liebermann on offer that evening: Reiter am Meer nach rechts doubled its estimate, eventually going to a Northern German museum for EUR 805,000 after a lively contest amongst several bidders. Blumenstauden im Nutzgarten was awarded to a private collector in Northern Germany for EUR 625,000, leaving its original estimate far behind. Schafherde, an early work by the artist, was secured by a South American collection for EUR 450,000, while a private collection in Southern Germany now is the happy owner of Corso auf dem Monte Pincio in Rom after bidding EUR 375,000. Selbstbildnis mit Schirmmütze, an impressive self-portrait drawn in chalk, was acquired by an art dealership for EUR 143,750. 

Fischerhäuser in Nidden, painted in a striking impasto style by Max Pechstein, will now hang in the gallery of a Swiss collection, having fetched EUR 562,500. Georges Braque’s still life Les Citrons from 1952 went to a British art dealership for EUR 362,500, and thus doubled its estimate. The EUR 312,500 offered for Victor Servranckx’ Opus 9 by a private collection in the United States marks a world record for this artist.

A rare work of social realism by Georg Kinzer: Blinder Bettler (Berlin, Tauentzienstrasse) attracted significant international interest and was fought over by six telephone bidders from the US, Britain, and Germany. The original estimate of EUR 30,000 – 40,000 had been bid up to an impressive EUR 162,500 (private collection in the United States).

An energetic bidding contest for Eduard Gaertner’s Blick in die Strasse Unter den Linden, Ecke Charlottenstrasse, mit dem Hôtel de St. Petersbourg ultimately ended up quadrupling the original estimate for the work to EUR 575,000.

Outstanding results likewise were achieved for a number of top-drawer works from the international contemporary art scene. Lynn Chadwick’s spectacular sculptural ensemble Sitting Figures went to a private collection in Lower Saxony for EUR 985,000, while Wojciech Fangor’s striking painting B 26 from1965 found a new owner in the Rhineland for EUR 350,000.

Rosemarie Trockel’s monochrome wool image ohne Titel (1990) sold to a US bidder for EUR 500,000, thus hitting the upper range of its estimate. A record hammer price of EUR 168,750 was set for a water colour by Martha Jungwirth, thus confirming this Austrian artist’s growing popularity on the art market. The EUR 162,500 offered for Rainer Fetting’s colourful Schlittschuhläufer evidences the undiminished enthusiasm for works by Berlin’s Junge Wilde circle of artists. In the Contemporary Works sale, artworks originally belonging to the Schering Stiftung foundation were sold for a total of EUR 400,000, among them works by Roy Lichtenstein, Christo, Walther Stöhrer, and Stephan Balkenhol.

All told, the three winter sales held on two separate days racked up proceeds of EUR 43 million. With our annual turnover now amounting to EUR 73 million, 2022 is the most successful year in the annals of Grisebach.

Micaela Kapitzky

* All results incl. premium


Berlin, 1 December 2022: 23.2 million for a Beckmann painting in Berlin

Max Beckmann’s 1943 Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa achieved a record price at today’s evening sale at Grisebach. A buyer from Switzerland prevailed against bids from five countries. This is the highest amount ever paid for a work of art sold at auction in Germany, and the second-highest obtained world-wide for a self-portrait by the artist.

Bernd Schultz: “It is entirely appropriate for this masterpiece of the 20th century to command an exceptional price! With this success, Grisebach has set a mark where the German art market is concerned and has put Berlin back on the map as the arena for world-class auction results. This consignment and its excellent outcome bear witness to the trust and confidence placed in our firm for its expertise and international profile.”

Micaela Kapitzky


Berlin, 10 November 2022: Preview – Sensational Winter Auctions at Grisebach

With Max Beckmann’s painting Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa from 1943, we are offering a masterwork of German art history the likes of which have not been seen on the auction market since 1945. The work was created during the artist’s exile in Amsterdam and was a gift to his wife Quappi. It is the absolute highlight of the upcoming Winter Auctions at Grisebach and also ranks among the top lots on offer in the international auction market’s fall season (press release of 20 October, 2022).

One of the most surprising and unique offerings will be Otto Dix’s metallically glossy painting Katzen (Theodor Däubler gewidmet), which he created in 1920 at the peak of his Dada phase (EUR 800,000 / 1,200,000). Max Liebermann will be represented at the Selected Works auction on 1 December with several of his greatest works: The garden scene Blumenstauden im Nutzgarten nach Nordwesten derives its magical allure from the frenzied state in which the artist seems to have painted it: Departing almost entirely from naturalist realism, he renders the interplay of riotous vegetation and shades of light solely through colour (EUR 300,000 / 400,000). Schafherde, painted in 1888 after memorable sojourns in France and the Netherlands (EUR 250,000 / 350,000), just like our painting Reiter am Meer nach rechts, number among the salient works that were exhibited at the grand retrospective of the artist’s work held in honor of his 70th birthday at Berlin’s Königliche Akademie der Künste in the summer of 1917. Following the successful sale of Russisches Ballett this past summer, Grisebach is proud to offer a further top work by Max Pechstein: Fischerhäuser in Nidden, painted in the summer of 1909 and notable for its impasto texture, is estimated at EUR 400,000 / 600,000. Herbstliche Landstraße (1910) by Gabriele Münter is an unmistakable creation of the Blauer Reiter school of Expressionism, expressing the full power and vitality of this boldly innovative artistic movement (EUR 250,000 / 350,000). And there are further hidden treasures in store such as the drawing Mother and Child (Mutter und Kind) by Egon Schiele, which shows how even the simplest draftsmanship can evoke multi-layered emotions and give us insight into the subjects’ character (EUR 180,000 / 240,000). Or Wassily Kandinsky’s water colour Ohne Titel from 1928, which contains every single one of the elements that made this artist’s work during the 1920s so unique (EUR 100,000 / 150,000). Another rarity are three golden bronzes by Karl Friedrich Schinkel from the series “Ritt der Nereiden“ – known from the large Schinkel fountain at Charlottenhof Palace Sanssouci Park in Potsdam (each EUR 50,000/70,000).

The curated Evening Auction will also showcase top-tier works of international Contemporary Art. Take Sitting Figures, for example, a spectacular, two-part ensemble of “life-sized” bronzes by British sculptor Lynn Chadwick from 1979/80 (estimated at EUR 800,000 / 1,200,000). Another sculptural work, George Segal’s iconic Woman on Park Bench (1998), tells of nothing less than the process of becoming, being, and passing away that all life on earth must go through. The woman leaves the viewer to address the inescapable question of “what remains?” (EUR 200,000 / 300,000). B 26, painted in 1965 by the Polish-American artist Wojciech Fangor, derives its singular, masterful quality from the highly attractive colour palette in which the pulsating circle is rendered (EUR 200,000 / 300,000). Another particularly intense and forceful creation is Herrmann Nitsch’s Kreuzwegstation, which has been on loan to the Saarlandmuseum for the past twenty years. This monumental work, with its thickly applied crimson reds, is a fitting tribute to the oeuvre of the Vienna-based performance artist, who died this year (EUR 180,000 / 240,000). 

A key highlight of the Contemporary Art Auction, which we traditionally hold towards the end of our auction series at Fasanenstrasse, will be Rosemarie Trockel’s monochrome knitting picture Ohne Titel (1990), which cogently epitomizes the artist’s decidedly critical stance towards the media and questions of gender (EUR 300,000 / 400,000). Its intensive blue hue suggests depth and seems to invite us to dive headlong into the abstract pictorial space. Another outstanding lot is the large-scale watercolour Portrait (1991) by the Austrian Martha Jungwirth. Overlooked by the art market for many years, this artist finally is enjoying the recognition she deserves (EUR 50,000 / 70,000). Or take The Temple, a painting from 1986 by A.R. Penck, whose works have been commanding stunning bids on the global market for some time now: Here, the artist literally turns his world-famous iconography on its head, practically catapulting it into our here and now (EUR 150,000 / 200,000). The Contemporary Art auction furthermore will feature 11 works from the Schering Stiftung collection, including ones by Karl Horst Hödicke, Christo, and Roy Lichtenstein.  

In an effort to bring even more vigor, international visibility and reach to the photography market – and as an open invitation to a whole new generation of bidders – we will be holding our photography auctions exclusively online starting this Autumn (timed auction from 25 November until 4 December).  

All told, the winter auctions to be held on 1 and 2 December will feature 481 artworks with a cumulative average estimate of EUR 42.5 million.

A preview of all these works will be held at our three locations on Berlin’s Fasanenstrasse (25, 27, 73) from 23 November until 30 November. Max Beckmann’s Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa, currently being shown at our New York preview until 10 November, will also be exhibited in Berlin from 23 November until 30 November.

Micaela Kapitzky


Berlin, 20 October 2022: A world sensation at Grisebach: Max Beckmann’s “Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa“ from 1943 is coming up for sale in Berlin on 1st December

Max Beckmann’s “Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa“, a self-portrait created in 1943, is a masterpiece of international rank – no comparable artwork has been offered on the German auction market since 1945. Created by the artist during his exile in Holland and gifted to his wife Quappi, the painting has been privately owned since the day it was made. As the top lot of the international auction market’s Autumn calendar, it will be the absolute highlight of our upcoming Winter Auctions. 

“When I first laid eyes on this museum-quality painting – which for me numbers among the most beautiful and striking of Max Beckmann’s self-portraits – I, too, was fascinated by its allure. For a work of such importance to come onto the art market is a major event, not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors and museums all over the world.”  
(Bernd Schultz, Senior Partner at Grisebach)

“Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa“ is one of the few self-portraits by Max Beckmann to have remained in private hands until the present day. The ones most recently offered on the international auction market, in each case in New York City, were “Selbstbildnis mit Trompete“ in 2001 (sold for $22.5 million) and “Selbstbildnis mit Glaskugel“ in 2005 (sold for $16.8 million) in 2005. Beckmann’s self-portraits rank among the top draws at some of the world’s most prominent collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Harvard Art Museum, Vienna’s Albertina Museum, the Art Institute in Chicago, Neue Galerie in New York, Detroit’s Institute of Arts, the Art Museum in Saint Louis, and Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie.

Max Beckmann (who was born in 1884 in Leipzig and died in 1950 in New York) is recognized as one of the major international artists of the 20th century – a genius whose contribution to the history of modern art was singularly original. First and foremost, the self-portraits he created during his period of exile are emblematic expressions of the spiritual crisis the artist endured in finding himself trapped in circumstances threatening his livelihood. However, “Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa“ from 1943 is more than a window onto Beckmann’s inner state during parlous times; it is also an open avowal of his will to overcome them. Indeed, the work stands markedly apart from the other explorations of the self that came before and after: Defying the spirit of resignation that threatens to engulf him during the darkest days of World War II, Beckmann eschews his usual somber hues and paints himself in surprisingly bright colours. The dominant black is missing, for example, and the yellow fabric and bright fur trim of his attire – possibly a dressing gown – suggest the environment of a home or studio. The truncated red frame of a mirror is the only hint of an interior the artist shows us, who intentionally has positioned himself outside of any social context. Nothing in this image is a reference to the global turmoil of 1943, or to Beckmann’s exile in Amsterdam, in a country forcibly occupied by German troops.

The hands resting flat on crossed arms seem to betoken an attitude of prayer. Beckmann’s gaze and his knowing, ever so subtle smile are directed at something in the far distance to the left, past the viewer, that seems to be accessible solely to the inner eye, without any symbolic clues giving an indication of what it might be. By his general appearance, garbed in traditional orange-yellow, with his nearly bald head and arms in a position found in meditational practice, Beckmann reminds us of a Buddhist monk. The self-portrait is an expression of monumental calm and longed-for inner peace. And it is also a work of singular pictorial power.

In its past auctions of works by Max Beckmann, Grisebach has achieved top prices, such as EUR 5.5 million for “Ägypterin“ in 2018, which to this day remains the highest winning bid ever obtained at auction for a painting in Germany. For a private collection in Switzerland to now entrust us with “Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa“ is further confirmation of our outstanding, market-leading expertise in this artist’s oeuvre.

Micaela Kapitzky


Berlin, 8 June 2022: Hammer prices in the millions and international bidding battles – the results of the Summer Auctions in Berlin

The esteem in which modern art is held by collectors once again was confirmed at our Selected Works auction: Max Pechstein’s masterpiece Russisches Ballet from 1909, the lot with the highest estimate, went to a private collection in Berlin for a top bid of € 2,425,000. The event’s other big climax was the contest for Grauer Strand by Max Beckmann from 1928, which was won by a European collector ready to offer € 1,765,000 – the auction’s second seven-digit hammer price. A surprise performer was the sculpture Triple N Gyratory II by the American artist George Rickey. Originally estimated at € 150,000 – 200,000, it ended up fetching € 475,000 from a private collection in Berlin after a protracted, cross-border bidding battle. This was the highest price ever paid for one of Rickey’s works. Bidding also was lively for Ernst Wilhelm Nay’s Mit grüner Scheibe from 1964, a painting forming part of the artist’s epoch-making Documenta Bilder series. The work found a new owner in the Rhineland for € 412,500. 6 schöne, 4 hässliche Porträts: hässliches Porträt 9 painted by Georg Baselitz in 1988 also attracted vigorous interest: Garnering many bids in the auction hall and over the phones, a new owner was found for € 400,000, again in the Rhineland. A standout in the contemporary field was Arnulf Rainer’s Dunkle Figur from 1990/91, a market-fresh, signature work by the artist that eventually was sold for € 275,000. Another top draw for buyers from Germany and abroad was the dynamic composition T 1981 – H 12, a masterwork from the late creative phase of Hans Hartung, which went to an Italian bidder for € 262,500 after intense bidding competition.

A special highlight of the auction week on Fasanenstrasse was the set of 70 Expressionist works belonging to the world-class collection formed by Adalbert and Thilda Colsman. The impressive oil painting Hohe See by Emil Nolde was secured by a southern German collection for € 1,585,000 – the third hammer price in the millions to be achieved during our summer auctions. The haunting portrait Christina from 1915, also by Nolde, was taken home by a new owner for € 500,000. The world record for Ewald Mataré now stands at € 275,000, the price paid for Grosse kniende Kuh by a German private collection after extended bidding. Also notable were the € 237,500 fetched by Garten in Soest painted by Christian Rohlfs in 1906 (estimate: € 70,000 – 90,000) and the € 175,000 paid for Otto Dix’s Bettina im Garten from 1952 (estimate: € 50,000 – 70,000).

The Contemporary Art auction as well saw top prices being attained. The bidding for Untitled (Schüttbild), an early work by the only recently deceased Hermann Nitsch, was truly a contest among multiple hard-fighting bidders. An Austrian buyer emerged victorious, but not before the original estimate of € 20,000 – 30,000 had shot up to a sensational € 387,500. Another focal point was (FXXXVIII), a diptych by Karin Kneffel from 1997. The € 350,000 paid by a German art dealership – more than twice the lower estimate of € 150,000 to 200,000 – marks a world-record auction result for Kneffel. The Neue Wilde artist’s circle, as exemplified by its exponents Rainer Fetting and Elvira Bach, once again commanded top prices. Thus, Fetting’s 2 Arabs I from 1983 sold to a private collection in Hesse for € 168,750, well in excess of its estimate of € 40,000 – 60,000). The artist’s The Devil from 1984 also significantly outperformed its original appraisal of € 25,000 – 35,000, fetching € 112,500 from a German dealership. Another object of intense buyer interest was a brightly coloured work on paper by Katharina Grosse, which went to its new owner for € 112,500, or almost ten times its lower estimate of € 15,000 – 20,000.

Our 19th Century Art auction got off to a running start with a rediscovered painting by Amalie Bensinger from Baden that ranks among her major works. Here, vigorous competition culminated in a winning bid of € 47,500 from a private collection in Hesse. Our featured print of Albrecht Dürer’s iconic copperplate engraving Melencholia I found a new owner in Great Britain for € 125,000 after lively international bidding. The charming window view of Dresden’s historic skyline painted by Julius Kaskel, a scion of the prominent Jewish dynasty that founded the bank that was to become Dresdner Bank in 1872, saw its lower estimate increase sevenfold in a matter of minutes, ultimately going to a buyer in New York for € 43,750. Paul Cézanne’s masterful drawing Homme nu, a 19th century work prefiguring modernism, was acquired by a Hessian collector for € 93,750. The auction’s final fireworks were provided by 42 works by Max Klinger, which had been collected systematically by his devoted admirer and contemporary Fritz Tögel, often straight from the artist’s atelier in Leipzig. Having remained with the collector’s family for four generations, these lots prompted lively bidding. They included Klinger’s oversized nude drawing of Gertrud Bock (Weiblicher Akt) and his double-sided oil study of two women (Studien von zwei weiblichen Halbakten), which fetched € 26,250 and € 25,000, respectively, not to mention a number of rare prints and albums.

This season’s Photography auction was dedicated to prominent American colour and street photographers, while also featuring a number of trend-setting international works. A particularly coveted lot was Slim Aaron’s Poolside Pairs, a lush colour image set against the backdrop of the iconic “Kaufmann Desert House” designed by architect Richard Neutra; this sold to a private collection in southern Germany for € 25,000. Die Befreiung der Finger by Dieter Appelt, known for his performance, concept, and object art, recouped an impressive € 23,750 (estimate: € 7,000 – 9,000) and is now owned by a private collection in France. Another catalogue item worth mentioning is Lee Friedlander’s NYC from 1963; this work by one of the great masters of US street photography was snapped up by a German private collection for € 18,750, and thus well above its estimate of € 8,000 – 10,000.

All told, Grisebach generated sales of 25 million Euros during the first half of 2022.

Micaela Kapitzky

* all results incl. premium


Berlin, 2 May 2022: Pas de deux of the Arts – the 2022 Summer Auctions at Grisebach

Curtain up: Max Pechstein’s Russisches Ballett, painted in 1909 during the heyday of the “Die Brücke” Impressionist movement, will take center stage as the prize lot of the Selected Works auction scheduled for 2nd June in Berlin (EUR 2,000,000 – 3,000,000). The painting has been in private hands for over 65 years and is coming onto the art market for the first time, having been exhibited at numerous museums over the past decades (see our Press Release of 14th March 2022).

Following the successful sale to the Kunstmuseum Den Haag of one of the most spectacular re-discoveries of our past Spring Auctions, Max Beckmann’s panorama of a Dutch beach scene in 1934, Grisebach recently was entrusted with another one of the artist’s coveted seaside paintings: Grauer Strand from 1928, a work of brilliantly executed picturesque detail. At an estimated price of EUR 1,000,000 to 1,500,000, this is sure to be a further top draw of the Selected Works auction. 

Among the other notable lots in the catalogue of the curated evening auction: Alexej von Jawlensky’s vibrant, Neo-impressionist Stilleben mit Blumen und Früchten (circa 1905), which exemplifies the artist’s
fascination with van Gogh’s unique style and his enthusiastic appreciation of the latter’s distinctive brushwork (EUR 200,000 – 250,000). Symparabol (1959), a composition of intense dynamism yet delicate
colouration that ranks as a key work of Gerhard Hoehme, one of the most independent and original artists of the German post-war period (EUR 80,000 – 120,000). Three paintings by Ernst Wilhelm Nay will be offered at the evening auction, including Mit grüner Scheibe, which the artist created as part of his Documenta-Bilder, an epic, oversized pictorial series from 1964 (EUR 250,000 – 350,000). Another lot is T 1981 - H 12 (1981), a particularly dynamic composition of violently clashing contrasts that qualifies as a milestone work from the late creative period of Hans Hartung (EUR 120,000 – 150,000).

Contemporary art, too, will take the spotlight at the Selected Works auction. One truly exciting and rare example in this category – never before offered at auction – is the sectional drawing “Circle Grid Overlay” (1977) by US concept artist Gordon Matta-Clark (EUR 200,000 – 250,000). It references “Office Baroque,” a work realized in Antwerp that same year, which has come to be one the artist’s best-known projects. Also represented is Georg Baselitz, a leading German artist from the post-war period: His work, 6 schöne, 4 hässliche Porträts: hässliches Porträt 9 (1988), is a visual homage to “ugliness” entirely in keeping with Baselitz’ contrarian spirit and determination to arrive at new and different concepts in each of his artworks (EUR 200,000 – 300,000). The imposing Dunkle Figur (1990/91), also making its market debut, is a fine example of Arnulf Rainer’s series of signature Kreuzbilder (EUR 180,000 – 250,000). The shape of the cross has been a recurrent motif in Rainer’s oeuvre since the 1950s, intended not as a profession of faith but as a representation of the human body. 

In 2016, Grisebach successfully sold the first part of Adalbert and Thilda Colsman’s superb collection of expressionist works. The second part will now come under the hammer as a highlight of the upcoming Summer Auctions. Adalbert Colsman was the brother, respectively brother-in-law, of the famous art-collecting couple Gertrud (née Colsman) and Karl Ernst Osthaus. As collectors in their own right, Thilda and Adalbert Colsman acquired works by many of the salient protagonists of modern painting. Sixty of these gems will be offered at a dedicated auction on 2nd June. The prime lot will be Emil Nolde’s impressive oil painting Hohe See from 1939, estimated at EUR 1,000,000 to EUR 1,500,000, followed by Christina, a striking and sensitive portrait of the artist’s niece Christina Christensen from the year 1915 (EUR 400,000 – 600,000). Ewald Mataré, one of the many artists with whom the Colsmans were personally acquainted, will be represented with works such as Grosse kniende Kuh, a fine creation that showcases the artist’s mastery of materials and form (EUR 100,000 – 150,000).

The Contemporary Art auction to be held on the evening of 3rd June will feature a selection of works by important German artists, among them Karin Kneffel, an exponent of Neorealism whose virtuosically executed diptych (F XXXVIII) (1997) (180 × 360 cm) originates from her coveted series of fruit still lifes (EUR 150,000 – 200,000). Another is Markus Lüpertz, whose Pierrot Lunaire – DER DANDY (1984) can be interpreted as a self-portrait of the artist in the guise of the pantomime hero, alienated by a suit of armor (EUR 60,000 – 80,000). The monumental diptych by Andreas Schulze from 1984 (230 × 340 cm) could not be more typical for his highly expressive, sculpturally conceived visions of interior spaces (EUR 40,000 – 60,000).

The focus of the upcoming Photography Auction will be on some of the leading American pioneers of colour and street photography from the 1960s to the 1980s – artists who were more interested in capturing the rhythms of day-to-day life in the United States rather than any spectacularly arresting images. Thus, the works on offer will include landscapes and cityscapes by Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Saul Leiter, and Nicholas Nixon, iconic pictures by Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, as well as colour photography by Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, Lewis Baltz, Larry Sultan, and Mitch Epstein. Besides these highlights, the catalogue will be supplemented by an additional selection of photographic works by groundbreaking artists of international rank such as Michael Schmidt, Christer Strömholm, and Helmut Newton.

A particularly rare piece that will take pride of place at the 19th Century Art auction is Paul Cézanne’s Homme nu (1862/65). In this early masterful drawing – executed while he was at the Académie Suisse – the artist displays a strikingly original approach to light and shadow as well as dexterous draftsmanship (EUR 50,000 – 70,000). A focus will be formed by a number of works by Max Klinger from the collection of Fritz Tögel, an admirer of Klinger’s who became an expert in his oeuvre. The diagrammatic images, titillating sketches, and oil studies virtually bursting with color were acquired by Tögel directly from the artist’s estate and have been owned by the family ever since. Last but not least: Der heilige Eustachius by Albrecht Dürer, a fine, clear print of the largest copper engraving ever made by this German artistic genius, which also happens to be one of his most splendid and detailed.  The print likely was made from the original copperplate while Dürer was still alive or just shortly after his death (EUR 40,000 – 60,000).

One more work sure to attract attention at the Selected Works auction is the atmospheric, dream-like pencil drawing In der Kirche by Adolph Menzel (after 1898), which originates from the collection of Berliner Sparkasse (EUR 60,000 – 80,000).

In sum, 660 artworks with an average estimattion total of EUR 16 million will be offered in the six Summer Auctions to be held from 1st to 3rd June. A preview of all these works will be held at our three locations on Berlin’s Fasanenstrasse (25, 27, 73) from 24th to 31st May. The special preview of the Adalbert & Thilda Colsman Collection will take place from 6th to 14th May.

Micaela Kapitzky


Berlin, 11 April 2022: Overwhelming ARTISTS FOR UKRAINE Benefit Auction: White glove sale and EUR 190,000 for victims and refugees from Ukraine

The online-only benefit auction ARTISTS FOR UKRAINE, organized by Grisebach as a joint initiative with Juliet Kothe, was successfully concluded as a white glove sale on Sunday, April 10th. We are pleased to report that a total of EUR 190,000* were raised to benefit victims and refugees from Ukraine. 

The auction featured 33 artworks donated by 34 contemporary artists that were all sold successfully. Topping the list of auction results was “Untitled“ by Eliza Douglas & Anne Imhof, which was sold for EUR 37,500. Yngve Holen´s “Trypophobia“ from 2021 went for 18,750 EUR. Among the other works to command notable bidding activity were Julius von Bismarck´s “it is not as dangerous as it is traumatic“ (EUR 13,750) and Marc Brandenburg´s “ohne Titel“ from 2022 (EUR 12,500).

The artists, all those involved with the auction, and Grisebach intend to use the proceeds to promote the efforts pursued by Be an Angel e.V. on behalf of the victims and refugees from Ukraine. Grisebach will donate all of the revenue generated by the auction.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to all the artists and bidders for their generous support, for putting their trust in us and for taking part in the auction. The entire proceeds will be turned over to the Be an Angel e.V. NGO.  

Andreas Tölke, founder of Be an Angel e.V.: “We are endlessly grateful for the auction to support Be an Angel, and of course our thanks also go out to each and every one of the artists! Since March 4th, we have been evacuating Ukrainians who have arrived in Moldova and who are receiving insufficient care. We are also evacuating people with disabilities directly from the Odessa region. This area currently is the scene of bitter fighting. This means that people who are tied to a wheelchair are particularly defenseless there. We will use the proceeds from the auction precisely for these evacuation efforts. From Ukraine via Moldova and on to Germany. We thank everyone who has participated from the bottom of our hearts.”

Juliet Kothe and Diandra Donecker, the project’s initiators: “We are overjoyed to now be in a position to donate a total of EUR 190,000. We thank all the artists involved, as well as the many bidders who enthusiastically joined in the auction – this success would not have been possible without them.”

We also thank the following for their assistance: Thyra Castell (Artist Liaison), Laura Catania (Visual Communication), Malte Seibt (FAS Picture Framing), Karen Bartsch (photographer), ABC Dinamo (typograhpy), Lukas Städler (photography) Tandem Kunsttransporte (shipping), Samson-Übersetzungen GmbH (translations), and (online listings).

*all results incl. premium


Berlin, 22 March 2022: ARTISTS FOR UKRAINE Benefit Auction

ARTISTS FOR UKRAINE, an “online only” benefit auction sponsored and organized in cooperation with Juliet Kothe, is Grisebach’s way of lending a helping hand to the victims and refugees uprooted by the war in Ukraine.

33 works of art donated by 33 contemporary artists will be sold online by Grisebach between April 1st and April 10th. All the proceeds will be donated to Be an Angel e.V., an NGO founded and run by artists that is based in Berlin. Since its establishment in 2015, Be an Angel has been providing rescue services, material support, and housing to refugees. Be an Angel currently is the only NGO helping those Ukrainian refugees who have reached Moldova to make their way to Germany. The Be an Angel team has been deployed on location since March 4th, 2022: Each day, two to five buses with up to 79 passengers depart from Moldova, whereby one bus costs between EUR 5,000 and EUR 8,000.

The artists, all those participating in the auction, and Grisebach wish to use the proceeds to the efforts pursued by Be an Angel on behalf of the victims and refugees from Ukraine. Grisebach will donate all of the revenue generated by the auction.

Andreas Tölke, founder of Be an Angel e.V.: “We also make sure not to forget about the people once they arrive here in Germany. We see to it that they obtain adequate lodging; wheelchairs are kept on hand for people with disabilities. We are there to look after people – all the people who are forced to flee – and we do so over the long haul.”

Juliet Kothe and Diandra Donecker, initiators of the project: “In view of the humanitarian crisis underway in Ukraine, we activated our artistic and cultural network because we wanted to help the organizations working to rescue and assist refugees. Our thanks go out to the artists for allowing us to convert their works, by the auction, into urgently needed funds.”

Preview of all works
1 to 10 April 2022
Grisebach, Fasanenstrasse 27, 10719 Berlin

Online auction
1 to 10 April 2022


Berlin, 14 March 2022: Curtain up: ‘Russisches Ballett’, a magnificent painting by Max Pechstein, takes centre stage at Grisebach on 2 June 2022

Max Pechstein’s Russisches Ballett, created in 1909 at the hight of the Expressionist movement known as “Die Brücke”, will be one of the highlights of the Selected Works auction scheduled for 2nd June 2022 in Berlin. New to the market, the painting was privately owned for over 65 years and has been exhibited at numerous museums, including the Brücke Museum, the Berlinische Galerie, the Puskhin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the New National Gallery in Berlin.

“Never before has a comparable painting by the artist been offered for sale on the German or international market. The way in which the painter’s and the dancer’s art are so passionately combined makes ‘Russisches Ballett’ a visual paragon for the transition into a new epoch.”    
Dr. Markus Krause, Grisebach Director and Partner, Specialist in Modern Art  

The cultural topography of Europe in the years just after 1900 resembled a landscape on the verge of a volcanic eruption. There was seething and rumbling in all branches of the arts, a push for liberation from the conventions of traditional forms of expression. Paris and Berlin were the art capitals of Europe at the time. It is no accident that Expressionism and modern dance developed concomitantly. In 1909, impresario Sergei Diaghilev founded the famous Ballets Russes in Paris, transcending classical dance in favour of conveying emotion and expressivity. The contemporary public was electrified, as was Max Pechstein, the only artist of Die Brücke movement to live in Paris himself. Concurrently with the genesis of the innovative Russian ballet troupe, he painted his version of Russian ballet dancing, a pas de deux between Harlequin and Pierrot – the first, full of vim and braggadocio; the other, shy and awkward. The colour scheme selected by Pechstein underscores the image’s contrasts: Red and green stand in counterpoint, while the snow-white costume of Pierrot, suggestive of innocence, clashes with the loudly colourful, geometrically patterned garb of Harlequin, who sports a daemonic-looking mask to top it all off.

For Pierrot and Harlequin, performing in the limelight is a pleasurable game – and their joyous enthusiasm has spilled over onto Max Pechstein: Painting with bold freedom, virtuosic verve, an exceptionally refined use of colour and psychological insight, he created what ranks as a key work in an oeuvre that would span half a century. Without a doubt, Russisches Ballett from 1909 is a work of top-notch museum quality.

Micaela Kapitzky


Berlin, 7 December 2021: Spectacular successes at Grisebach: The results of the Anniversary Auctions in Berlin.

Bulls-eye! All told, the six Anniversary Auctions held over three days with an average aggregate estimate of EUR 16 million earned 25 million euros – one of the best performances in Grisebach’s 35-year history. What better way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our auction house on Fasanenstrasse than with spectacular sales rates and five sales exceeding the million-euro threshold!

The evening auction featuring selected works from Emil Nolde to Kenneth Noland turned into a veritable celebration, with bidders placing offers in the saleroom, via the phone, and over the internet. Otto Dix’ singular Selbstbildnis from 1913 saw the steepest increase, from a starting estimate of EUR 200,000 to a final bid of EUR 1,585,000. The long and suspenseful contest between bidders from all over the world ultimately was won by a collector based in Turkey. This was shortly after the prior lot, Max Beckmann’s rediscovered Badende mit grüner Kabine und Schiffern in roten Hosen, had been snapped up by an international museum for the proud sum of EUR 2,305,000.

Emil Nolde’s Meer (I), a work with a touching backstory that only heightened its appeal – the ageing artist gave it as a Christmas present for his young wife Jolanthe – fetched EUR 2,770,000, or well over double its original estimate. The buyer was a private collection based in Northern Germany. Results of international caliber were also the million results no. 4 and 5: Max Liebermann’s Impressionist painting Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee mit Spaziergängern, which found a new owner for EUR 1,045,000, and Moholy-Nagy’s Space Modulator Experiment, Aluminum 5, for which a Northern German collector threw EUR 1,225,000 into the ring.  

Modeschau, a collage from 1925/35 by Hannah Höch, was battled over intensely, its original estimate more than doubling to reach EUR 300,000. World-record prices were achieved for the contemporary art of Norbert Schwontkowski, whose The Battle garnered EUR 175,000, and of Karl Horst Hödicke, whose Potsdamer Platz III netted EUR 325,000. The Selected Works auction alone thus generated an impressive EUR 13.7 million.
Contemporary art made an excellent overall showing this anniversary year, not just in the Selected Works and Contemporary Art auctions, but also in the one devoted to the Berliner Sparkasse Collection.  
The works entrusted to Grisebach from the Berliner Sparkasse Collection fetched a total of EUR 3.5 million, or almost double their aggregate low-end estimate. The biggest winners were Maria Lassnig’s Hände from 1989 at EUR 550,000, Markus Lüpertz’ Weintraube from 1971 at EUR 325,000, and Per Kirkeby’s Die Zeit nagt I from 1992 at EUR 325,000. Particularly notable was the EUR 168,750 winning bid for Rainer Fetting’s Mauer am Südstern from 1988, which set a new record for works by this artist. Sixty-eight additional works from this collection will come under the hammer at Grisebach in an online-only auction scheduled to begin on February 11th, 2022.

The Contemporary Art auction held on December 3rd, too, was marked by thrilling competition among international bidders in the auction hall and over the phones. This led to impressive price gains: A.R. Penck’s colourful painting Spielen und Bauen from 2002, the prime lot in the catalogue, climbed effortlessly to EUR 237,500, while Daniel Richter’s iridescently spectral Gruppe from 2004 more than doubled its low-end estimate to EUR 75,000. André Butzer’s arch Ohne Titel (F.S.), which features one of his signature “Friedens-Siemens” characters, went for EUR 137,500 to a private collection in California. Helmut Middendorf’s electrifying two-part painting City of the Red Nights II from 1982 sold for EUR 125,400, another world-record hammer price for this artist.

The 19th Century Art auction served as a successful kick-off to Grisebach’s anniversary program. The auction’s prime lot, Max Liebermann’s Der Witwer, a striking early work from 1873, was claimed by an international private collection for EUR 337,500. Another focus of intense buying interest was Carl Schuch’s masterwork Ingwertopf mit Orangenhälfte from 1885/1888. This was gaveled off for the world-record price of EUR 287,500 and will now go back to Schuch’s homeland of Austria. Carl Spitzweg’s icon Die erste Eisenbahn set off protracted competitive bidding before being awarded to a private collection in North Germany for EUR 96,250. Théodore Gudin, a French maritime painter much championed by Grisebach, proved to be another favourite: His vista of a smoking Mount Vesuvius saw its original estimate of EUR 6,000 climb to a final bid price of EUR 50,000. Ernst Ferdinand Oehme’s rediscovered masterwork Tiroler Landschaft mit Burg Naudersberg henceforth will be on exhibit at the National Museum in Stockholm, which placed the winning bid of EUR 125,000.  

A number of works originating from the Dresden School around the year 1900 proved unexpectedly popular: The oil studies and drawings by Max Pietschmann earned their moderate estimates many times over, Osmar Schindler’s supine male nude wearing a crown fetched more than five times its EUR 4,000 estimate at EUR 26,250, and Richard Müller’s Ländliche Idylle (Frauenakt im Stall) changed hands for EUR 62,500.  
Helmut Newton’s iconic 1981 diptych They Are Coming (Dressed/Naked), the headlining work of the auction The Art of Photography – A New York Collection, was secured for EUR 200,000 by an American private collection. Richard Avedeon’s Dovima with Elephants, possibly the most famous fashion photo of the 20th century, went to a new Swiss owner for EUR 112,500. Le Regard oblique by Robert Doisneau (EUR 32.500) and Gestapo Informer, Dessau by Henri Cartier-Bresson (EUR 22,500) also went to the same private collection in the United States.  

The anniversary year now ending has certainly proved to be an exceptionally successful one for Grisebach, with an annual turnover of EUR 53.5 million.

Micaela Kapitzky

* All results incl. premium


Berlin, 1 November 2021: Masterworks and prime collections: The 2021 Anniversary Auctions at Grisebach

The stars of this year’s Anniversary Auctions in Berlin will be not one but two works valued at a million euros each, which had been privately held for decades and are coming onto the art market for the first time: The first is the seascape Meer (I) by Emil Nolde from 1947 – a Christmas present from the artist to Jolanthe, the love of his sunset years, who kept it in her possession for the rest of her life. After her death, it was held on loan for many years by the Brücke-Museum in Berlin (EUR 1,000,000/1,500,000). 

The second is a spectacular rediscovery: Max Beckmann‘s Badende mit grüner Kabine und Schiffern mit roten Hosen. Inspired by a vacation spent in 1934, during a time of upheaval, at the Dutch seaside resort of Zandvoort, the painting of bathers, a green cabin and boatmen in red trousers is charged with motifs relating to the artist’s personal fate. It has been held as a family heirloom for over eight decades and was last exhibited in 1964 (EUR 1,000,000/1,500,000).  

A highlight of the Selected Works Auction on 2nd December will be Max Liebermann’s Impressionist masterpiece Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee mit Spaziergängern, a painting of museum quality that is a remarkable celebration of this particular moment in time, its light and colours (EUR 500,000/700,000). An absolute rarity is Otto Dix’s Selbstbildnis from 1913, an existential self-affirmation by the painter which has been kept as a family heirloom for almost 60 years (EUR 200,000/300,000). Also noteworthy is a signature work by Heinrich Maria Davringhausen from 1917, in which he uses his inimitable, visionary style to portray the poet Theodor Däubler as a wise seer and cosmic judge (EUR 300,000/400,000).
An enchanting rarity is Modeschau from 1925/1935 by the Dadaist Hannah Höch – a collage in which the artist showcases the transformation of artistic sensibilities and emerging feminist consciousness of the 1920s (EUR 100,000/150,000). Metagrün (1963), a composition that draws its power from a vivid synergy of colouration and drawing, is an important, large-scale painting by Ernst Wilhelm Nay, one of the major German painters of the post-war period (EUR 300,000/400,000).

When it comes to contemporary art, the Selected Works auction will also feature top-notch works with outstanding provenances. Sun Dried: Japanese Space, created by Kenneth Noland in 1963, formed part of the historic exhibition devoted to this prominent American artist by the Guggenheim Museum in New York under the title “A Retrospective.” It is one of the first examples of a “shaped canvas” in the history of US art (EUR 400,000/600,000).  Another great US artist represented here is Alex Katz: His Black Bathing Suit from 1997 features his unmistakable combination of reduction and figuration, while his impressive use of blue as an endless associative space is remarkable (EUR 280,000/350,000). Further highlights of this auction will be Karl Horst Hödicke’s triptych Potsdamer Platz III from 1977, a significant work from the artist’s early period (EUR 150,000/200,000) and Norbert Schwontkowski’s The Battle from 2011, a particularly fine example of his poetic and magic visual imagery (EUR 30,000/40,000).  

The lots on offer for our Contemporary Art Auction on 3rd December will include the second part of works by Annette Kelm, Thomas Demand and Jonathan Meese, which featured in the exceptional exhibitions mounted at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Berlin Biennale over the past thirty years; these artists have shaped the history of the Institute and the Biennale. The auction proceeds will be used to support upcoming projects of KW and of the Berlin Biennale.

The top-drawer works on offer by established contemporary German artists include A.R. Penck’s SPIELEN UND BAUEN from 2002, a typical example of the tension between anarchy and a system which animates the artist’s overall oeuvre (EUR 150,000/200,000), as well as Helmut Middendorf’s City of the Red Nights II from 1982, which celebrates the care-free joie de vivre of urban revelers during the early 1980s: excessive, exhilarating, and bursting with colour.

On 2nd December, we will be offering high-quality works from the significant contemporary art collection assembled by Berliner Sparkasse, following a preview showing from 12th to 18th November. These include five early paintings by Neo Rauch – a collection within the collection characterized by the artist’s typically enigmatic and mystic visual aesthetic (between EUR 40,000/120,000). Also particularly notable in this context is Maria Lassnig’s painting Hände from 1989, a significant work by one of today’s leading female artists (EUR 180,000/240,000); one of Christo’s big, colourful collages of the Wrapped Reichstag (Project for Berlin) from 1994 (EUR 300,000/400,000); Markus Lüpertz’ Traube, an opulent painterly gesture from 1971 (EUR 100,000/150,000); as well as no less than two abstracted landscapes by Per Kirkeby: Soem-Sommer from 1988 and Die Zeit nagt I from 1992 (EUR 120,000/150,000, and EUR 150,000/200,000, respectively). Another highpoint of these auctions is an exciting, oversized work on paper from 1989 by the American Christopher Wool, an impressive example of his non-finito style (EUR 300,000/400,000). The auction proceeds earned from this art collection will be donated to various public services and organizations in Berlin, in keeping with Berliner Sparkasse’s longstanding commitment as one of the largest donors to social welfare projects in the German capital.

“The Art of Photography – A New York Collection:” This photography auction to be held on 1st December will feature over 120 lots of museum-level caliber and breath-taking beauty from a spectacular American collection. Topping the list will be Helmut Newton’s legendary diptych They Are Coming (Dressed/Naked), created in 1981 for French VOGUE. In this iconic pair of images, four female models striding towards the viewer – once wearing nothing but high heels and once dressed and styled, but always in the same order. By this iconic example of photographic art, Newton has emphasized that although nudity can be sexy, it also can be an affirmation of self-confidence and verve (EUR 150,000/200,000). Another top draw from the collection is Richard Avedon’s Dovima with Elephants from 1955, a testament to the golden age of glamour that is probably the single most famous fashion photograph of the 20th century (EUR 100,000/150,000). Then there is Rudolf Koppitz’ Bewegungsstudie, perhaps the most important of all his photographs – the signed bromoil print dates from 1925 and qualifies as a coveted market rarity (EUR 100,000/150,000).
Topping the works on offer in the 19th Century Art auction is Der Witwer from 1873, a scandal-provoking yet celebrated early work by Max Liebermann (EUR 250,000/350,000). Fresh on the market after 100 years of being held as a family heirloom is Carl Schuch’s Ingwertopf mit Orangenhälfte, a painting calling for philosophic interpretation, in which light and colour seem to positively vibrate (EUR 120,000/150,000). Finally there is Schiffswrack bei Castello sul Mare in Rapallo, a masterwork by Théodore Gudin that was once personally owned by Czar Nicholas I and was shown at prestigious venues like the Hermitage in St. Petersburg (EUR 40,000/60,000).  

A prominent 19th century work to be offered during the Selected Works Auction is Ernst Ferdinand
Oehme’s Tiroler Landschaft mit Burg Naudersberg from 1847. This painting, associated with the Dresden Romantic school and once owned by a museum, has only recently been rediscovered, after having gone missing one hundred years ago (EUR 100,000/150,000).

In total, 574 artworks with a lower estimate of EUR 16 million will be offered in the six winter auctions to be held from 1st to 3rd December. A preview of all these works will be held at our three locations on Berlin’s Fasanenstrasse (25, 27, 73) from 23rd to 29th November. The special preview of the Berliner Sparkasse Collection will take place one week earlier, from 12th to 18th November.  

Micaela Kapitzky



Berlin, 18 October 2021: “The Art of Photography – A New York Collection“ – The 2021 Anniversary Auctions Grisebach

Grisebach is delighted to offer over 120 lots from a prime photography collection in the United States on December 1st, 2021, as part of its Anniversary Auctions in Berlin. This spectacular trove of works, with a low-end estimate of EUR 1.3 million, includes works of museum-level importance and of breathtaking quality and beauty. That they will be put up for auction with us is a mark of confidence in the German market – and in our expertise.

The auction’s top lot is Helmut Newton‘s legendary diptych “Sie Kommen” (Dressed/Naked). Created in 1981 for French VOGUE, this is one of the iconic images of Newton’s oeuvre: Four women in the studio, striding forward in high heels – and nothing else! The second image shows the women stepping toward us in exactly the same arrangement, but this time, they are dressed. Viewing both images side by side makes us aware that nudity can be more than just erotic allure; it can also be a statement of self-confidence and verve (EUR 150,000/200,000). Another standout is “Dovima with Ele-phants,” created in 1955 by the consummate visualizer of absolute beauty, Richard Avedon: The top model Dovima, resplendent in a black evening gown with sash by Christian Dior, poses between two circus elephants. With an allegorical nod, the figures refer to the fairytale of “Beauty and the Beast.” The image often has been described as the most famous fashion photo of the 20th century, testifying as it does to a golden age of glamour (EUR 100,000/150,000).

Likely the best-known work by Rudolf Koppitz, the leading international exponent of the Symbolist style in photography, is the movement study Bewegungsstudie showing a group of dancers arrayed in a triangular composition. This signed bromoil print stems from 1925 and qualifies as a coveted rarity on the market (EUR 100,000/150,000). Besides these three iconic works, the collection also comprises many other outstanding pieces. There are documentary and journalistic photos by Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Margaret Bourke-White; works by US master photographers such as Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, and Edward Weston; a set of portraits of famous artists (George Braque, Georgia O’Keeffe, Igor Strawinsky) by the hugely influential Arnold Newman; the famous nature study of a sapling by Albert Renger-Patzsch Bäumchen; not to mention a large-scale “photogram” by László Moholy-Nagy from the year 1922 (EUR 75,000/90,000). Another highlight definitely worth mentioning is William Eggleston’s “Morals of Vision” from 1978. This set of eight colour images, their brilliance undimmed after over forty years, depicts landscapes and scenes of everyday life from the American Heartland. It is doubtlessly one of the collection’s most important works (EUR 40,000/60,000).



Berlin, 28 September 2021: A-List works from the Berliner Sparkasse Collection – The 2021 anniversary auctions at Grisebach

December 2nd will mean another high point for Grisebach’s anniversary auctions, when we look forward to offering over 50 select works by prominent contemporary artists. Drawn from Berliner Sparkasse’s multi-faceted collection of 1990s art, these top-notch works are a reflection of one of Berlin’s most exciting historical periods: the city’s re-unification after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the spirit of new beginnings that was part of it. The paintings will be presented as part of a special catalogue and shown in their own preview exhibition.

Among the auctions’ highlights: Seven early works by Neo Rauch – a collection within the collection that is characterized by the artist’s typically enigmatic and mystical pictorial language (between EUR 40,000–120,000); Maria Lassnig’s Hände from 1989, a significant work by one of the leading female artists of the present day (EUR 180,000–240,000); one of Christo’s oversized colour collages Wrapped Reichstag (Project for Berlin) from 1994 (EUR 300,000–400,000); Markus Lüpertz’ opulent painterly gesture Traube from 1971 (EUR 100,000–150,000); as well as a pair of two abstracted landscapes by Per Kirkeby: Søm-Sommer from 1988 and Die Zeit nagt I from 1992 – paintings whose shapes essentially are defined by their colouration (EUR 120,000–150,000 and EUR 150,000–200,000, respectively). An additional highlight of the auctions is a striking, large-scale work on paper by the American artist Christopher Wool from 1989, which vividly exemplifies his non-finito technique (EUR 300,000–400,000). The auction proceeds will be donated to several Berlin-based social welfare organizations that benefit from the support of Berliner Sparkasse as one of the city’s leading charitable donors. 

All in all, Grisebach will be offering more than 50 artworks this December as part of an exclusive catalogue. Sixty-eight additional works are to be sold at auction in the first half of 2022 as part of an online only auction, also by Grisebach.

The special preview in Berlin will take place from 12th to 18th November 2021, at Fasanenstrasse 25 and 27.

Micaela Kapitzky


Berlin, 14 June 2021: Sensational Sales-to-Estimate Ratios and Hammer Prices in the Millions Set New Records at Grisebach’s Summer Auctions in Berlin

Numerous records were set at this year’s summer auctions. Take the EUR 1,465,000* winning bid for Reiter in der Allee bei Sakrow, a wonderful late work by Max Liebermann, which not only topped the million mark but came in at double the work’s initial estimate (EUR 500,000–700,000). In fact, this was the highest bid ever placed via the internet at a German auction.

Grisebach was also able to set a number of world records at the curated evening auction ‘From Emil Nolde to Neo Rauch.’ Thus, Heinrich Vogeler’s iconic work Träume II (auch ‘Frühling’ oder ‘Erwartung’) found a new owner in Berlin for EUR 649,000* (estimate: EUR 200,000–300,000). The new world record for the New Objectivity painter Carl Grossberg is EUR 649,000* (estimate: EUR 300,000– 400,000), with the only existing self-portrait by the artist going to a buyer in the Rhineland. Konrad Lueg‘s Bockwürste auf Pappteller fetched EUR 437,500* (estimate: EUR 80,000–120,000), setting another artist-specific price record. A top price of EUR 575,000* (estimate: EUR 200,000–300,000) was also attained for Konrad Klapheck’s ähnliche Eltern, a museum-quality work which went to a German private collection after a protracted bidding war in the auction rooms and over the telephones. The small oil painting Umgeschlagenes Blatt (1966) by Gerhard Richter brought in EUR 745,000*, thereby validating its estimate (EUR 600,000–800,000). Heidi, an early example of Richter’s blurring technique never before offered on the market, also far exceeded initial expectations (EUR 280,000–350,000) with an impressive hammer price of EUR 550,000.*

Fernando Botero’s Walking Woman in Profile went to an aficionado in Northern Germany for EUR 550,000* (estimate: EUR 350,000–450,000). Alexej von Jawlensky‘s Sommertag in Ascona sold for EUR 425,000* (estimate: EUR 200,000–300,000). Franz Marc‘s Grüne Studie from 1908 was acquired by a Southern German museum for EUR 412,500* (estimate: EUR 300,000–500,000). The Selbstporträt created by Arthur Segal in 1921, during his salient creative period, went to a French buyer for EUR 375,000* (estimate: EUR 150,000–200,000), another top price.  

Among the highlights of the six auctions held over three days at Grisebach was the offering of the Sander Collection. Following a breathtaking bidding war, Wandbild für einen Fotografen by Franz Wilhelm Seiwert sold for EUR 1,225,000* (estimate: EUR 400,000–600,000), thereby once again topping the million mark and setting a world record for the artist. This 1925 masterwork by Seiwert henceforth will be exhibited at the Art Institute in Chicago. The Sander Collection auction also produced additional, outstanding sales-to-estimate results in excess of 200 percent. These included the EUR 156,250* bid for Heinrich Hoerle‘s Selbstbildnis from 1931 (estimate: EUR 60,000–80,000) and the EUR 150,000* bid for Vordermann, a drawing on paper by the same artist (estimate: EUR 40,000–60,000). Another work by Franz Wilhelm Seiwert, Stark abstrahierte Halbfigur, obtained a closing bid of EUR 118,750* (estimate: EUR 30,000–40,000).

The Contemporary Art auction likewise culminated in impressive, above-estimate bids. Thus, Study for Bedroom Painting #71 (Double Drop-Out) by Tom Wesselmann sold at twice its estimate (EUR 70,000–90,000) with a winning bid of EUR 187,500*, while the 1958 gouache Zwei Frauen by Joseph Beuys exceeded the initial quote (EUR 80,000–120,000) with a hammer price of EUR 125,000.* David Hockney’s colourful Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines, a Green Wash, a Light Blue Wash, and a Dark Blue Wash was fought over among a sizeable group of bidders who ultimately tripled the initial estimate (EUR 40,000–60,000) to EUR 125,000.*

Adolph von Menzel’s Morgens früh im Nachtschnellzug from 1877, the top-grossing lot in the 19th Century Art auction commanded a winning bid of EUR 206,250* (estimate: EUR 80,000–120,000). The 1915 painting Templerschloss by Eugen Bracht also attracted strong interest, ultimately going to the Sander Collection in Darmstadt for EUR 187,500* (estimate: EUR 25,000–35,000). Mädchenkopf (genannt die ‘Malresl‘) by Wilhelm Leibl (EUR 162,500*) and Max Pietschmann‘s monumental painting Fischzug des Polyphem from 1892 (EUR 108,750*) were both acquired for private German collections. Above-estimate prices were attained for Die blaue Grotte by August Kopisch, which fetched EUR 47,500* (estimate: EUR 7,000–9,000), and for Die Klagemauer in Jerusalem by Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner, which sold to a European dealer for EUR 52,500* (estimate: EUR 12,000–15,000) after an international bidding war.

At the Photography auction, three prints by Otto Steinert stole the show: Verspielter Punkt and Ohne Titel (Photogramm mit Bällen und Kreisen) each garnered EUR 22,500* (estimate: EUR 5,000–7,000 and EUR 7,000–9,000, respectively), while Luminogramm II (Lampen der Place de la Concorde, Paris) fetched EUR 21,250*, or four times the estimate (EUR 5,000–7,000). Three works by David Hockney – Yves Marie Asleep, May; John St. Clair Swimming, April, and Two Lemons and Four Limes, Santa Monica – also found new buyers. Having each been estimated at between EUR 1,200 and EUR 1,600, these were acquired, respectively, by a private collection in Hessen for EUR 11,875*, by a French dealer for EUR 14,375*, and by a private collection in Southern Germany for EUR 10,625.* West EUR 44th Street New York, a cityscape photographed by Thomas Struth in 1978, was acquired by an American private collection for EUR 30,000*, the highest bid for any lot in the Photography Auction.  

Thanks to this exceptional buying interest, Grisebach achieved EUR 24.3 million in total sales for the first half of 2021.

Micaela Kapitzky

* all results incl. premium


Berlin, 7 May 2021: From Emil Nolde to Neo Rauch – Summer Auctions 2021 at Grisebach

At the top of this year’s Summer Auctions (9 to 11 June 2021) is Emil Nolde’s Sonnenblume from 1928. A fine example of Expressionist painting, this spectacular pastose work was once a part of the Salmon Schocken collection and is estimated at EUR 700,000–1,000,000. Yet another 1928 masterpiece will be included in the Selected Works Auction From Emil Nolde to Neo Rauch – Carl Grossberg’s self-portrait, this classic example of New Objectivity unveils the artist’s fixation with exacting technique, and it’s his sole self-portrait (EUR 300,000–400,000). Nature’s harmony and beauty become tangible in the luminous Reiter in der Allee bei Sakrow, a 1924 landscape painting by Max Liebermann in an exceptionally large format (95.7 x 114.8 cm). This rare motif, the park at Sacrow Palace, is estimated at EUR 500,000–700,000. Alexej von Jawlensky pays homage to the Lago Maggiore with Sommertag in Ascona from 1918, an abstract landscape panorama with a masterfully orchestrated colour scheme (EUR 200,000–300,000). An early work by Franz Marc, Grüne Studie from 1908, is an impressively large format artwork that delivers strikingly powerful colours and bears testimony to the artist’s blossoming creative energy and joie de vivre during his summers in Bavaria (EUR 300,000–500,000). Lovers of Art Nouveau are in for a treat with Heinrich Vogeler’s Träume II (auch ,Frühling‘ oder ,Erwartung‘). This iconic work from 1912 captures the ethereal beauty of the artist’s wife and muse, Martha Vogeler (EUR 200,000–300,000).

The curated evening auction will feature a selection of Contemporary Art’s most brilliant works with outstanding provenances. Two paintings by Gerhard Richter will be on offer – Umgeschlagenes Blatt from 1966 cleverly plays with impressions of reality and picture planes, a nod to a centuries-old tradition of illusionistic painting (EUR 600,000–800,000). Fresh on the market, 1965´s Heidi is an important example of Gerhard Richter’s early blurred works and will be offered at auction for the very first time (EUR 280,000–350,000. Konrad Klapheck’s ähnliche Eltern (1957), a museum piece emblematic of the artist’s early style-defining period, captivatingly plays between the lines of Hyperrealism, Surrealism, and Pop Art (EUR 200,000–300,000). A veritable discovery is Bockwürste auf Pappteller from 1962/63 by Konrad Lueg, who would later go on to become a celebrated gallerist under his birthname Konrad Fischer, nevertheless his artistic œuvre has remained quite limited. Which certainly makes the work on offer, which was exhibited in Gerhard Richter’s and Konrad Lueg’s legendary joint exhibition Leben mit Pop – Eine Demonstration für den Kapitalistischen Realismus, all the more enticing (EUR 80,000–120,000). Back on the market for the first time in almost 50 years is Joseph Beuys’ Eurasienstäbe from 1974, the assemblage is estimated at EUR 60,000–80,000. The most significant artist from the New Leipzig School will be represented in our Summer Auction, Neo Rauch. His Autor, a monumental large-scale early work from 1994, will be on offer in our evening auction on 10 June (EUR 300,000–400,000).

The Contemporary Art auction will feature market-fresh artworks by the artists who have been defining features in Grisebach’s contemporary face. Among these is Katharina Grosse’s Untitled (2004), considered one of the most radically abstract painting positions emerging from Germany (EUR 40,000–60,000). Zwei Frauen (1958), the gouache from Joseph Beuys´ melancholic phase, is estimated at EUR 80,000–120,000, Günter Fruhtrunk´s ROT AUS SCHWARZ AUS GELB from 1970 at EUR 60,000–80,000, and Andy Warhol’s complete 1968 12-part silkscreen portfolio about the spectacle surrounding the JFK assassination, Flash – November 22, 1963 will be called at auction for EUR 50,000–70,000.

30 years of KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e.V. will be celebrated at Grisebach! As part of the Contemporary Art auction on 11 June, more than 30 artworks will be offered at auction by artists whose work reflects the unique exhibition program and who have played significant roles in shaping the history of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Berlin Biennale these past 30 years. The proceeds will support future projects at the KW and the Berlin Biennale.

Artists: Marina Abramović, Mounira Al Solh, Kader Attia, BLESS, Monica Bonvicini, Keren Cytter, Simon Denny, Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ceal Floyer, Cyprien Gaillard, Katharina Grosse, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Carsten Höller, Sergej Jensen, Kris Lemsalu, Leonilson, Michel Majerus, John Miller, Piotr Nathan, Susan Philipsz, Willem de Rooij, Julian Rosefeldt, Aura Rosenberg, Tino Sehgal, Jeremy Shaw, Santiago Sierra, Katharina Sieverding, Wolfgang Tillmans, David Wojnarowicz, Amelie von Wulffen.

On 10 June a special auction with its own catalogue will be dedicated to the extraordinary Sander Collection, whose origins go back to the internationally renowned photographer August Sander (1876-1964). More than just a few of these works will be summoned to the art market for the very first time. Such is the case for Wandbild für einen Fotografen from 1925 by Franz Wilhelm Seiwert (EUR 400,000–600,000), a masterpiece and likely the most personal testament to the intimate exchange between Sander and Seiwert. Two icons from the Cologne Progressives will be featured – the striking Self-Portrait by Heinrich Hoerle from 1931 (EUR 60,000–80,000), and a beguiling image, Die Geste, by Gottfried Brockmann from 1928 (EUR 5,000–7,000). Another highlight within the Sander Collection is Ländliche Familie (Familie Jatho) by Franz Wilhelm Seiwert from the year 1923 (EUR 100,000–150,000).

American conceptual and colour photography is the focal point of the Photography department this summer. Including works by the greats such as William Eggleston, Larry Sultan, Lewis Baltz, or Mitch Epstein, as well as a rare discovery – 11 portraits of prostitutes active in the New Orleans red light district in 1911/13, shot by the portraitist Ernest J. Bellocq and rediscovered and reproduced by Lee Friedlander (EUR 40,000–60,000). Two rayographs by the DaDa artist, photographer, and filmmaker Man Ray will be at auction on 9 June. These black and white graphics were made using a photomechanical technique that the artist developed himself and date from 1922 and 1924 (each EUR 7,000–9,000).

One highlight of the 19th Century Art Auction, which has traditionally commenced the auction week at Fasanenstraße, will be Wilhelm Leibl’s 1897 oil study Mädchenkopf (genannt ‚Die Malresl‘). This non finito is a complete masterpiece in thrilling and beautiful form (EUR 100,000–150,000). Brought back to the eyes of the public and at auction for the first time in over 100 years is Adolph von Menzel’s 1877 drawing Frühmorgens im Nachtschnellzug (EUR 80,000–120,000). As Adolph Menzel once brought medieval suits of armor to life, so comes alive the Totenschädel mit Rosen by Carl Schuch (EUR 50,000–70,000). Two master Menzel drawings from the Max and Martha Liebermann Collection will be offered. Tagebau in Königshütte from the year 1872 (EUR 25,000–35,000) was created in direct association with Eisenwalzwerk (Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin), after Menzel was commissioned to complete the work by his painter colleague’s uncle, Alfred Liebermann. The second sheet (Die Personen des “Flötenkonzerts”, EUR 30,000–40,000) is the composition study for the figure’s depicted in Menzel’s renowned Flötenkonzert (1850-52, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin). The large format ink drawing is the older of the two known versions held by the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett and was recently restituted to the Liebermann heirs.

In sum, a total of 783 artworks with an average estimation total of approximately 18 million will be offered at auction in 6 catalogues over 3 days at Grisebach.

The extended preview will take place in Berlin from 25 May to 8 June at Fasanenstraße 25, 27, and 73.