Press releases 2015

Berlin, December 8, 2015: Grisebach Exhibition. K.H. Hödicke. Berlin Scenes

K.H. Hödicke was 19 years old when he came to Berlin and decided to stay. After one semester studying architecture at Technical University he transferred to the Academy of Arts where he joined Fred Thieler’s painting class. He decided to stay there, too, first as a student, later, from 1974 until 2005, as a professor. Only for two short stays Hödicke left Berlin to spend the year of 1966 in New York and 1968 at Villa Massimo, the German Academy in Rome.

In 1965, together with Markus Lüpertz and Bernd Koberling Hödicke founded the legendary “Großgörschen 35” cooperative gallery, the first of its kind, which would become influential far beyond the boundaries of Berlin.

In 1977 Hödicke participated in documenta 6. Retrospectives of his work were first mounted in 1981 at Berlin’s Haus am Waldsee. The last one was held in 2013 at Berlinische Galerie.

Over several decades of artistic production Berlin remained Hödicke’s central theme: Starting in the 1960s with the “Reflektionen,” big city scenes in diffuse light transformed into fragmented compositions; then in a much more immediate way in his architecture paintings of the 1970s and 1980s; through his painterly documentation of Berlin as a mega construction site in the 1990s.

In his own characteristic way of painting Hödicke portrayed his city in every one of its periods and became an important guiding figure not only for the “Neue Wilden” painters but for an entire younger generation.
On the opening night of the exhibition, please join us for a conversation with Karl Horst Hödicke and Holger Liebs (Editor-in-Chief, Monopol) on the occasion of the book release, “K.H. Hödicke. Berlin Potsd. Pl.,“ edited by Hans Neuendorf.

Daniel von Schacky

T +49 30 885915 0


Berlin, December 12, 2015 until February 20, 2016

Grisebach, Fasanenstraße
 27 and 25

Mon through Fri 10-6, Sat 11-4

(open December 28-30, 11-4)

Berlin, November 28, 2015: Most Successful Year in Grisebach’s History. Seven Figure Results in the 250th Auction

Works of art of exceptional quality can be sold at exceptionally high prices, even in a difficult market climate: This is the upshot of Grisebach’s highly successful 250th auction in Berlin that in well over an hour brought in gross 11,4 million euros*.

The top-selling lots were “Bildnis eines jungen Mädchens” by Max Beckmann for 1,225 million euros and “Helles Sonnenblumenbild” by Emil Nolde for 1,04 million euros, which were bought by a German and Swiss private collector, respectively. 

The “Selected Works” auction’s unparalleled offerings of German constructivist and abstract art attracted a large number of international bidders in the room and on the telephones.

Three artist’s records were broken: At an estimate of 120,000-150,000 euros Walter Dexel’s 1922 painting “Der elektrische Zähler” fetched 512,000 euros, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart’s 1928 “Composition No. 42” brought 350,000 euros (estimate 100,000-150,000 euros) and Hans Uhlmann’s “Kopf“ achieved 200,000 euros, a new price level for the artist. The strong results for German abstract art of the 1920s confirm and expand Grisebach’s unchallenged position as market leader in German impressionist and expressionist art in this country. Karl Hofer’s “Sitzender Akt mit blauem Kissen,” formerly in the Littmann Collection and later included in the “Degenerate Art” exhibition in Munich, rose from an estimate of 250,000-350,000 euros to 697,000 euros, doubling the high estimate and bring-ing in the fourth artist’s record of the auction.

Two important paintings by Paula Modersohn-Becker and Max Liebermann achieved very high results: Modersohn-Becker’s “Bäuerin mit zwei Ziegen vor Gehöft” fetched 537,000 euros and Liebermann’s “Große Seestraße in Wannsee”, after minutes of fierce bidding, rose from 350,000 euros to 890,000 euros (private collection, Switzerland). Duchamp’s legendary “Red Box” from 1966, too, easily doubled the low estimate from 200,000 euros to 450,000 euros.

The “Contemporary Art” auction’s top-selling lots were paintings by Günther Förg and Wojciech Fangor, each bringing in 187,000 euros. In the “19th Century Art” auction an interior scene by Wilhelm Leibl formerly owned by Max Liebermann caused a sensation. It was bought for 287,000 euros (estimate 40,000-60,000 euros) by a European private collector.

The “Selected Objects” offered in the “Orangerie” auction easily sold for more than 1 million euros to arbiters of taste from all over the world. The top-selling lot was a pair of Chinese cabinet cupboards that were purchased for 230,000 euros by an Asian buyer.

The strong results brought in by Grisebach’s spring auctions and the Rohde-Hinze Collection continued through the jubilee auctions in November. With a total of 56 million euros 2015 became the most successful year in the history of the auction house.

Bernd Schultz: “2015 will be the most successful year in the history of Villa Grisebach. The extraordinary strong results for German art of the 1920s prove that our long-standing special interest in this period is bearing fruit. It lets us look to the future calmly. We are pleased about the seven figure results for Beckmann and Nolde. These are top prices for two artists that Villa Grisebach has cultivated with special dedication since its founding in 1986.”

Micaela Kapitzky

T +49 30 885915 32

* Prices include buyer’s premium

Berlin, November 28, 2015: Grisebach’s Photography Auction – Strong prices for Bellmer, Witkiewicz and Rohde

Grisebach’s 2015 fall auction of modern and contemporary photographs totals 612,100 euros* (88% sold by value).

The auction’s top-selling lot was Hans Bellmer’s booklet “La Poupée”, acquired by a French bidder for 43,750 euros (estimate 35,000–40,000 euros). Strong results were also achieved for two rare early portraits by Polish artist Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. A telephone bidder from the US won the portrait of “Jadwiga Janczewska II” for 42,500 euros (estimate 20,000–25,000 euros), while the pigment print of “Janina Illukiewicz” sold for 28,750 euros (estimate 10,000–15,000 euros) to a French collector.

After extended fierce bidding the 1928 vintage print, “Selbstporträt als Clown,” by Worpswede photographer Werner Rohde sold for 22,500 euros to a German collector, multiplying the estimate by many times (700–800 euros).

Interest was strong for many lots: The small vintage print “Grand Prix de L’A.C.F.” (1913) by Jacques Henri Lartigue was acquired for 12,500 euros by a German collector. Werner Bokelberg’s large-format collage “Uschi Obermeier” sold for 16,250 euros to another German collector (estimate 8,000–12,000 euros). Portfolios by Peter Keetman and Kenneth Josephson sold for 15,000 euros and 12,500 euros to an Austrian buyer (estimates, each 8,000–12,000 euros). The unusual subject of “Aimable Pendu” by French photographer Pierre Jahan increased the estimate of 800–1,200 euros to 6,875 euros (private collection, Germany).

Franziska Schmidt
T +49 30 885915 27

* Prices include buyer’s premium

Berlin, November 11, 2015: The 250th Auction at Grisebach – Jubilee auction with the highest total estimate in the company’s history

With its newly revised branding Villa Grisebach presents its 250th auction, to be staged in Berlin at the end of November. Central among the works offered are two important pieces from the 1930s by Emil Nolde and Max Beckmann, each with estimates of 1 million euros: Nolde’s vital “Helles Sonnenblumenbild“ from 1936, and Beckmann’s dream-like “Bildnis eines jungen Mädchens“, painted by the artist while in exile in Amsterdam. Indeed the auction of “Selected Works“ on 26 November provides a stunning overview of those modern artists which have proven so central to Grisebach’s success in the years since 1986, including Max Liebermann, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Lesser Ury and Karl Hofer, whose “Sitzender Akt mit blauen Kissen“ was included in the infamous 1937 exhibition of “degenerate art“ in Munich, and which now carries an estimate of 250,000-350,000 euros. The auction will also include key works by two of the most important exponents of 1920s constructivism: “Der elektrische Zähler“ by Walter Dexel  (1922), and Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart’s 1928 work “Composition No. 42“ (estimated at EUR 120,000-150,000 and EUR 100,000-150,000 respectively).

Also of particular interest from within the “Selected Works“ sale are the three great edition projects by Marcel Duchamp, offered here together for the first time. The outstanding “Roter Koffer“ (EUR 200,000-300,000) constitutes a kind of museum in miniature, with each of Duchamp’s works reproduced by the artist himself; also offered are the “Weisse Schachtel“, the “Grüne Schachtel“, and a 1918 drawing of Duchamp by the artist’s patron, Katherine Dreier.

Among the strong selection of post-War works, highlights include two luminous paintings by Ernst Wilhelm Nay (“Balance jouyeuse“ from 1956 and “Dominant Gelb“ from 1959) and a “Montaru“ picture by Willi Baumeister (EUR 200,000-300,000). Within the “Contemporary Art“ sale, the stand-out pieces include a selection of works by Andy Warhol, including two early flower canvases from 1964 (EUR 150,000-200,000). A number of important artists from the post-1970 German art scene are also well-represented in this sale, among them Gerhard Richter, Imi Knoebel, Georg Baselitz and Günther Förg.

As has become tradition, the auction week will begin on Wednesday 25 November with the auction of “19th Century Art“. Highlights here include a marble sculpture by Johann Gottfried Schadow, held in a family collection since its execution in 1798 (EURO 100,000-150,000), and a major work by the French painter Théodule Ribot, which dramatically depicts the excesses of alcohol (EUR 160,000-180,000).

Over four days of auctions a total of 1,658 art-works will be offered for sale, spread over eight catalogues with a total estimate price of 23 million euros. On 25 November the auction of “19th Century Art“ will be followed by the “Modern and Contemporary Photographs“ sale (see dedicated press release). Thursday 26 November will see the “Orangerie“ auction (see dedicated press release) and sale of “Selected Works“. On Friday 27 November the auction of “Modern Art“ will be followed by “Prints and Multiples“ and “Contemporary Art“. The jubilee auctions will close on Saturday 28 November with the “Third Floor“ sale. The preview exhibitions begin in Berlin on 20 November, at Fasanenstrasse 25, 27 and 73.

Bernd Schultz: “With the 250th auction we are thrilled to bring together a selection of works which in their excellence reflect all that Grisebach stands for“.

Micaela Kapitzky

T +49 30 885915 32

Berlin, November 11, 2015: The ORANGERIE auction tells the history of the world in 100 objects. From Andrea Pisano to Gunter Sachs

Following the international success of the spring sale from the Rohde-Hinze collection, this season’s ORANGERIE auction once again promises a feast for the senses. The catalogue is a showcase of the highest quality and variety, from the Italian gothic, via baroque and classicism, to Parisian art déco.

The rediscovery of art history: The sparkling gem at the centre of the ORANGERIE auction, to be held in Berlin on 26 November, is the annunciation group by Andrea Pisano (EUR 150,000-200,000). These marble sculptures were created in around 1345, shortly after the bronze baptistery doors that would ensure Pisano’s place in art history. With these annunciation figures the influence of Giotto is once again clear: the artist worked from Giotto’s studies and in 1340 followed him into the position of Chief Architect of Florence Cathedral.

Journey around the world: From Ming-Dynasty China come two rare groups of Huanghuali wood furniture, a material reserved solely for use by the royal court (pair of cabinet cupboards, EUR 80,000; and side-board, EUR 60,000).

The spectrum of international treasures extends yet further: from a group of Netsuke from a north-German collection (from EUR 400), to the magnificent colours of two 19th century American quilts (each EUR 6,000-8,000), via a large group of decorative tiles from the Persian Qajar Dynasty (EUR 15,000-20,000), to a rare Labidjar Kelim carpet from Uzbekistan (EUR 5,000-7,000).

The masters of European applied arts: With a broad selection of noteworthy objects this season’s sale unites names such as Matthias Wallbaum, Johann Christian Hoppenhaupt, John Linnell, René Dubois, Jean-Henri Riesener, Thomas Hope, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Dagobert Peche and Josef Hoffmann.  

Paintings and graphics with a sense of history: The ORANGERIE sale includes paintings, drawings and prints by figures including Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Gerard von Kügelgen, Anton Graff, Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco de Goya. Of particular interest is the self-confident portrait of the legendary Earl and Bishop of Bristol by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (EUR 20,000-25,000), the positioning of the legs in the painting anticipating Tischbein’s famed Frankfurt portrait of Goethe.

The fascination of provenance: From the collection of the founders of the Albertina graphics collection in Vienna – Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen and Duchess Christine of Austria – comes a lidded vase of cream-coloured Onyx (EUR 30,000–35,000). Preparatory drawings relating to this object have been discovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

A plate with chinoiseries and the so-called “Salamimedaillon“ (EUR 20,000-30,000), an early example of Meissen porcelain, was confiscated on Hitler’s orders from the collections of Franz Oppenheimer and Fritz Mannheimer, intended for inclusion in the planned “Führermuseum“ in Linz. Thanks to the amicable settlement agreed by their heirs, the market can once again enjoy the magical aura of this object.

From the estate of Gunther Sachs comes a pair of makassar and ivory cathedral armchairs by Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann dating from 1913 (EUR 200,000-250,000).

Dr. Stefan Körner
T + 49 30 885915 64

Berlin, October 30, 2015: Modern and Contemporary Photographs at Grisebach

On Wednesday, November 25, more than 200 works of modern and contemporary photography will be sold in Grisebach’s Photography auction.

The sale’s leading lot is a positive photogram, created in 1925, by Bauhaus artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Moholy-Nagy, who focused at that time on his “camera-less photography,” would soon refer to the resulting experimental works as “photograms.” In order to create a positive photogram, a mirrored copy of an original photogram, the original is used as a negative, copied by means of direct contact onto un-exposed paper. This produces an image of the same size, yet the tonal values and the forms are inverted. The result is a black figure on light ground. The present vintage was formerly owned by photographer William G. Larson who studied at the Chicago Institute of Design, founded in 1939 as the School of Design by Moholy-Nagy. It is unusually well reserved (EUR 80,000/120,000).

Hans Bellmer’s 1936 booklet “La Poupée” can be considered as an introduction to Surrealist photography. In a series of 10 photographs a puppet, the artist’s own almost life-size creation, is staged in different, sometimes disturbing ways (EUR 35,000/45,000). Two of the few surviving portraits by Polish avant-garde artist Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz are other highlights of the sale. The striking photographs are considered among the first portraits in the history of photography revealing an “inner image” of the sitter: “Jadwiga Janczewska,” circa 1913 (EUR 20,000/25,000) and “Janina Illukiewicz,” circa 1912 (EUR 10,000/15,000).

Further top lots in the modern photography section include vintages by Walker Evans: “Frame House, Connecticut,” 1933 (EUR 12,000/18,000) and Jacques Henri Lartigue: “Grand Prix de l’A.C.F., Amiens, 12,” 1913 (EUR 10,000/15,000), Leni Riefenstahl: “Olympia-Portfolio,” 1998 (EUR 20,000/30,000) as well as works by Gertrud Arndt, Ruth Bernhard, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hugo Erfurth, André Kertész, Paul Outerbridge, Roman Vishniac, and others.

There is an interesting variety in the contemporary photography offerings, which include works by Peter Beard: „Elephant Tussle, Aberdare Forest“, 1972 (EUR 9.000/12.000), Anton Corbijn: „Keith Richards, Connecticut“, 1999 (EUR 10.000/15.000), Ruud van Empel: „Dawn I“, 2008 (EUR 4.000/6.000), Erwin Olaf: „Grief, Irene“, 2007 (EUR 8.000/12.000), Joel Meyerowitz: „Truro“, 1976 (EUR 8.000/12.000), Thomas Ruff: „Substrat 2 I“, 2002–2003 (EUR 4.000/6.000), Albert Watson: „Kate Moss, Marrakech”, 1991 (EUR 5.000/7.000).

Franziska Schmidt 

T 030 885915 27 


Berlin, 20. - 24. November 2015

Grisebach, Fasanenstraße 25, 27 and 73 

Friday - Monday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tue 10 a.m. -  5 p.m.

Autumn Auctions

Berlin, 25. - 28. November 2015

Berlin, July 4, 2015: Spectacular sale of legendary Rohde-Hinze Collection at Grisebach Top prices for Old Masters and Asian Art in Berlin

The last important Old Masters collection from Berlin’s 1920s was sold this past weekend in Berlin producing many spectacular results: The 384 works of art in the Rohde-Hinze Collection, presumed lost for decades, brought in a total of EUR 6,750,000,* exceeding the pre-sale high estimate by EUR 2.5 million. It was the most successful auction of Grisebach’s “ORANGERIE. Selected Objects” category. The auction sold 90% by lot – an outstanding result for a Decorative Arts and Old Masters sale.

Participants from Europe, the US and Asia engaged in long bidding wars to secure the works that were fresh to the market. Much sought after were important Italian and Dutch paintings together with rare Asian Art objects.

The top-selling lot was a “Waterfall“ by Jacob van Ruisdael, bought by a German private collector for EUR 805,000 (estimate: EUR 180,000–240,000). The collection’s founders would have been pleased: “Waterfall” was their first acquisition and last displayed in 1925 as part of the famous “Art From Private Collections “exhibition at the Berlin Academy of the Arts. The expressive head of an Apostle created by Anthony van Dyck sold for EUR 293,750, exceeding its estimate of EUR 60,000-80,000 by far. Like some other works in the three-auction sale, the estimate of Lavinia Fontana’s portrait of a young boy of 1581 was increased tenfold. The rare painting sold for EUR 212,500.

Again and again the sale of decorative arts, that included singular porcelain from the Meissen and KPM manufactories, brought extreme increases, most significantly for the Asian Art objects. Two Buddha sculptures from the 18th century (combined estimate: EUR 30,000) were sold for a combined EUR 531,250 after fierce bidding between Chinese participants in the room and on the telephones.

Bernd Schultz, Partner: “It was a great pleasure and honor for us to research and sell the legendary Rohde-Hinze Collection in a spectacular auction. The result achieved on behalf of the estate is outstanding. Grisebach’s mid-year revenue is EUR 33 million. We now look forward to our 250th auction in late November.”

Micaela Kapitzky

*all prices include buyer’s premium

Berlin, June 18, 2015: OLD MASTERS DEBUT AT GRISEBACH The Last Important Collection From The Golden Era of Berlin As A Center of The Art Trade

After price records in June, Villa Grisebach’s next high point in its series of spring auctions will be presented on July 3 and 4 in the ORANGERIE category: The auction of Old Masters and fine Decorative Art from the legendary and long-lost Rohde-Hinze Collection comes with a median pre-sale estimate of EUR 3.5 million.

Among the highlights are an apostle head by Anthony van Dyck (EUR 60,000-80,000), as many as four works by Jan Brueghel the Younger, including a large paradise landscape (EUR 300,000-500,000), and three panels from the important Cyriacus altar by Bartholomäus Bruyn (EUR 150,000-250,000). Italian painting is represented by a masterpiece by Lavinia Fontana (EUR 20,000-30,000) and Dutch painting by important works by Salomon van Ruysdael (EUR 200,000-300,000) and Jacob Duck (EUR 20,000-30,000 Euro).

The moderately priced selection of Decorative Art objects include Baroque Augsburg silver, very early and sometimes unique Meissen porcelain, parts from the services for Prussian King Frederick the Great by KPM Berlin (from EUR 1,000), Caucasian rugs and Asian art (a Ming Dynasty Guanyin, EUR 20,000).

More than 120 German and international scholars assisted in the preparation of the two-volume catalogue of Grisebach’s Old Masters auction debut. Essays by Bénédicte Savoy (Chair, Art History Department, Technical University Berlin) and Stefan Körner (Department Head, ORANGERIE) lively recount the history of Berlin as a centre of the art trade in the 1920s and the Rohde-Hinze Collection. For the preview exhibition (starts June 27) the galleries of the historic Villa Grisebach were painted in colours and works of art arranged with Wilhelm von Bode’s concept of the period rooms in mind. A special exhibition devoted to the history of the collection displays original documents from the company archives, which was donated to the Central Archive of the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin.

Berlin, June 6, 2015: Villa Grisebach’s spring auctions with price records in all categories

Important consignments from the Rhineland and Bavaria drove prices to extraordinary increases and numerous international records for Modern, Contemporary and 19th Century Art during Villa Grisebach’s spring auctions. In four days and eight auctions, held in the new sale room at Fasanenstrasse 27, a total turnover of EUR 23 million* was achieved. Never before were so many bidders active during a Villa Grisebach auction.

With EUR 865,000 each, two works from the evening sale achieved the highest results: one was the 1922 painting, “Ein Sonntag,” glowing in intense yellows, by Max Pechstein, the other one the surprise success for a minuscule 1963 cloud painting by René Magritte bringing in more than five times the estimate of EUR 150,000. Paul Klee’s “Haus zum blauen Stern” sold for EUR 745,000 (estimate: EUR 200,000-300,000). Van Gogh’s early work, “Head of a Peasant Woman,” sold for the same amount to a private collector in California – this is the highest price ever paid for a work by Vincent van Gogh in an auction in Germany.

Particularly strong was the EUR 4.3 million Contemporary Art auction bringing in almost twice the total of the previous auction. The highest result here was a watercolor by Joseph Beuys which, after minutes of fierce bidding, rose from an estimate of EUR 70,000 to EUR 450,000, becoming the most expensive work by Jospeh Beuys ever sold at auction in Germany. High hammer prices were also achieved for works by Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Otto Piene, Günther Förg and C.O. Paeffgen, whose “Akt” painting rose from EUR 20,000 to EUR 193,700.

With a EUR 2.6 million total Grisebach’s 19th Century Art department has become the undisputed leader in this auction category in Germany. Two international records were achieved: Wilhelm Leibl’s “Bauernmädchen” sold for EUR 350,000 to a German private collection and Carl Gustav Carus’s “Phantasie aus der Alpenwelt” was acquired for EUR 225,000 by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

On July 3 and 4 Villa Grisebach will present this spring season’s next highlight in the ORANGERIE category: The auction of Old Masters and Decorative Arts from the legendary and long lost Rohde-Hinze Collection has a median pre-sale estimate of EUR 3.5 million.

Bernd Schultz: “We are pleased to have made such a splash in the Modern, Contemporary and 19th Century Art categories. Now we will focus our strength on The Rohde-Hinze Collection – and afterwards on Villa Grisebach’s 250th auction in the fall.”

Micaela Kapitzky

* all prices incl. premium

Berlin, June 4, 2015: Record Price For a Vintage Photograph in Germany Villa Grisebach’s Most Successful Photography Auction

The high point of Grisebach’s Photography auction was the extended, fierce bidding for the rare 1928 vintage print, “Dunkle Figur,” by Werner Rohde. A German buyer prevailed and ended up paying EUR 187,500* for the unusual photographic composition (estimate: EUR 2,000/3,000). The work by the artist from Worpswede thus became the most expensive vintage print ever sold in an auction in Germany.

With a total of EUR 906,000* the 2015 spring auction became Grisebach’s most successful Modern and Contemporary Photography sale (by value: 141%).

EUR 37,500,* the auction’s second highest price, was achieved for Rineke Dijkstra’s “Villa Franca di Xira, Portugal.” A Dutch collector from The Netherlands was the successful bidder (estimate: EUR 30,000/40,000). Karl Blossfeldt’s “Laugenblume” was bought by an American collector for EUR 27,500* (estimate: EUR 22,000/32,000), while Jaromir Funke’s “Komposition mit Flasche” found a new home in Switzerland for EUR 31,250* (estimate: EUR 25,000/30,000). Strong results were also achieved for works by Man Ray, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, André Kertesz and Sebastiao Salgado.

A solarization work by Sigmar Polke, acquired by a French collector for EUR 15,000* (estimate: EUR 3,000/4,000), and Leni Riefenstahl’s “Mick Jagger,” bought for EUR 20,000* by a private collector from Germany (estimate: EUR 4,000/5,000), experienced high price increases. Michael Wesely’s Museum of Modern Art, New York, in long exposure, bought by an American bidder for EUR 22,500* (estimate: EUR 5,000/7,000) brought another strong result.

Franziska Schmidt

* all prices incl. premium

Berlin, May 26, 2015: “Van Gogh to Twombly” Spring auctions at Villa Grisebach 3 – 6 June 2015

One of the leading lots of Grisebach’s spring offering in Berlin is an important early work by Vincent van Gogh. The portrait, “Head of a Peasant Woman: Right Profile,” from 1885 is the most valuable work by Vincent van Gogh to be offered in an auction in Germany since 1945. The oil painting is related to van Gogh’s first important work, “The Potato Eaters,” and comes with a moderate estimate of EUR 600,000/800,000 The museum worthy portrait’s provenance can be traced without gap to the artist’s sister. For the past couple of decades it hung on the walls of a private residence in Bavaria.

Further highlights of the “Selected Works” sale include Paul Klee’s “Das Haus zum blauen Stern” (EUR 200,000/300,00) from 1920 and the sun-dappled landscape painting, “Ein Sonntag,” completed around the same time by Max Pechstein (EUR 500,000/700,000). Important paintings by Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, Oskar Schlemmer, Karl Hofer and René Magritte confirm once again Grisebach’s position as the leading Modern Art auction house in Germany.

The evening sale ends with a large-format work from 1981 by Cy Twombly (EUR 100,000-150,000). Grisebach’s Contemporary Art sales stand out as particularly comprehensive and strong. They kick off with a single-owner sale. The forty works of abstract and concrete art from the “Wandel Collection” include a powerful landscape format by Hans Hartung from 1960 (EUR 70,000/90,000), one of the first “Volume” paintings by the legendary Italian artist Dadamaino (1958, EUR 60,000/80,000) and the Arnulf Rainer painting, “Die Gekämmte”, from 1962 (EUR 60,000/80,000).

The “Contemporary Art” auction features works of outstanding quality by the internationally sought-after ZERO artists. A rare painting by Eugen Schönebeck, a senstitive portrait by Maria Lassnig and a 1989 painting by Robert Rauschenberg (EUR 100,000/150,000) will be sold in the Friday auction. Several paintings by Günther Förg, a large-format photograph by Andreas Gursky, an installation by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson as well as distinctive works on paper by Sigmar Polke and Joseph Beuys round out the offering.

Carl Gustav Carus’s 1822 painting, “Phantasie aus der Alpenwelt” (EUR 180,000/240,000), conceived in a close dialogue with Caspar David Friedrich, leads the “19th Century Art” sale together with a 1897 painting by Wilhelm Leibl. The suggestive portrait of a peasant girl comes with an estimate of EUR 200,000/300,000.

With more than 1,500 paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures the 2015 spring auctions are Grisebach’s most comprehensive (eight catalogues). The median pre-sale estimate is EUR 17.3 million.

Micaela Kapitzky

Berlin, April 30, 2015: Modern and Contemporary Photography at Villa Grisebach Auction No. 238 on June 3, 2015, 5:30 p.m. (GMT +1)

On Wednesday, June 3 more than 250 works of modern and contemporary photography will be sold at Villa Grisebach in Berlin.

Karl Blossfeldt’s pictures of plants, produced in 1915-25 for the Royal Prussian School of Decorative Arts in Berlin, are icons in the history of photography. His „Cotula Coronopifolia, Laugenblume,“ placed in the image like a sculpture, is on offer as a rare vintage print, hand-printed by the artist (€ 22,000/32,000). Another true rarity is the vintage photogram, created circa 1929, by the American photographer, Walker Evans: The ghostlike appearance of a hand reveals Surrealist influence (€ 10,000/15,000). Examples of Pictorialist photography by Heinrich Kühn (“Hans und Lotte auf der Wiese,” “Blumenstilleben,” each € 6,000/8,000) and Edward Weston (“The Hand of E.M.,” € 6,000/8,000) are represented in the sale together with portraits by Nicholas Nixon (“Brown Sisters,” € 7,000/9,000), Leni Riefenstahl (“Mick Jagger,” € 4,000/6,000) and Herb Ritts (“Jack Nicholson II, London,” € 4,000/6,000). Landscapes of a seemingly magical appearance are captured in vintage prints by Ellen Auerbach (“Ain-Karim-Palestine,” € 2,500/3,500), René Burri (“Kung Min-Lake. Summer Palace Beijing,” € 6,000/8,000) and Herbert List („Athen, Olympieion“, € 6,000/8,000).

Eight important vintage prints come from an American private collection. Among these are photographs by Jaromir Funke (“Komposition mit Flasche,” circa 1925, € 25,000/30,000), Paul Citroen (“Johnson Training again,” circa 1923, € 5,000/7,000), Yva (“Der Dieb,” 1926, € 6,000/8,000) and Man Ray (“Adrienne mit Waschbrett,” 1938, € 10,000/15,000). Works by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Ilse Bing, Brassai, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Imogen Cunningham, Andreas Feininger, Will McBride, Duane Michals, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Werner Rohde, Jaroslav Rössler and Otto Steinert round out the modern photography offerings.

The leading lot in the contemporary photography section is Rineke Dijkstra’s large-format portrait of a Portuguese matador, “Villa Franca di Xira, Portugal, May 8” (€ 30,000/40,000). Further highlights are Bernd and Hilla Becher’s “Getreidesilo, Canton, Ohio, USA” (€ 15,000/20,000), Robert Mapplethorpe’s “Melody (Shoe)” (€ 12,000/16,000) and “Lisa Lyon” (€ 10,000/15,000) as well as works by Philipp-Lorca diCorcia, Ruud van Empel, Elger Esser, Nan Goldin, Loretta Lux, Sebastiao Salgado, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Wesely, and others.

Franziska Schmidt

Berlin, February 2, 2015: Exhibition Imi Knoebel. Line Paintings 1966 – 1968 Grisebach is expanding!

It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the first exhibition in our new galleries at Fasanenstrasse 27 dedicated to Imi Knoebel’s early work: the Line Paintings, created between 1966 and 1968.

In 1964 Imi Knoebel, born Wolf Knoebel in 1940 in Dessau, joined the Kunstakademie in Duesseldorf to study under Joseph Beuys. A year later he and Imi Giese moved into the legendary room 19. Knoebel painted the minimalistic Line Paintings provocatively opposing Beuys’s concept of art.

Inspired by Malevich’s Black Square and American Minimalism, Knoebel chose the rectangle as his working format and reduced painting to its basics: line, area and the fundamental contrast between black and white. Referring to his Line Paintings, the artist described his approach as “searching for the origin,” with nothing but “the certainty of the pure square at a right angle”.

The Line Paintings’ perfection precedes the immaculacy of Knoebel’s later works in which he continues to explore painting as a relationship of space, picture support and color. The Line Paintings rank certainly among the most radical works Knoebel has created to date. Their significance for the artistic practice of following generations of artists is undeniable.

Grisebach is pleased to present six Line Paintings in this selling exhibition. They mark the first high point in Imi Knoebel’s career and will be shown in Berlin for the first time.

The exhibition will travel to our galleries in Duesseldorf, where it will be on view from April 10 until May 15.

Daniel von Schacky