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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.
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 Barnebys.com (online listings).
*all results incl. premium
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
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.
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.
* 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.
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.
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.
* all results incl. premium
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.