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Dr. Anna Ballestrem

Auction no. 298
26th October 2018, 6pm

190 lots of Modern and Contemporary Photography will be up for auction on Friday 26th October at Grisebach in Berlin.

Several highlights will come under the hammer including a large vintage print by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Created in Chicago in 1939, the photogram achieves a powerful visual impression with its silky matt blacks and depths and its bright, explosive and energetic centre while at the same time resonating with an intense musicality (EUR 50,000/70,000).

Some ten years earlier Edward Steichen produced a sensuously seductive flower still life. The silky petals appear to dance and it could be termed a portrait for it is much more than just a realistically illustrative piece. This is a piece of museum quality from the estate of the artist’s widow Joanna Steichen. (EUR 50,000/70,000).

Thomas Struth was able to discover his version of paradise in Brazil. He has created a monumental work on 210 x 271 cm which draws the viewer into the dense, green and succulent jungle. (60,000/70,000).

Hiroshi Sugimoto guides the viewer into a drive-in cinema. In his time exposure photograph the screen erected between the trees appears white, the film erased as if by a ghostly hand. An enchanting spectacle, a scrutiny of viewing habits and temporality and a life subject for the artist, for whom “theatres“ have always been an ever more important theme. (EUR 15.000/20.000).

We take the small leap from the theatre to dance and the stage with fascinating vintages by Frantisek Drtikol, André Kertesz, Edmund Kesting, Alfred Eisenstaedt alongside vibrant street scenes by Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, Weegee, Helen Levitt, Garry Winogrand as well as portrait and nude photography by Man Ray, Erwin Blumenfeld, Helmut Newton, and Edward Weston among others.

Vintages by Knud Lönberg-Holm, Evert Marinus van Ojen, Ralph Steiner and Zander & Labisch document among other things the exciting architecture of the 1920s and 30s.

Two fashion photographers come under the hammer from the estate of Angelica Blechschmidt, the former editor of German Vogue, embedded in a fine selection of fashion photography with works by Horst P Horst, Jeanloup Sieff, Deborah Turbeville, and Walde Huth.

Early photography also sees increased representation, with Dr Richard Neuhauss’ shot: “Otto Lilienthal, Gleitflug mit dem großen Doppeldecker vom Fliegeberg“ (EUR 6,000/8,000) and Heinrich Kühn’s painterly rubber print “Venedig“ demanding particular attention.

Diandra Donecker
T 030 885915 27

Berlin, 19th until 24th October 2018
Grisebach, Fasanenstrasse 27
Fr to Tue 10 until 6pm, Wed 10 until 3pm


The human face is the guiding light of the Grisebach founder’s collection of works on paper, to be sold at auction to benefit his long-wished-for goal.

It is the people within the images which have always fascinated Bernd Schultz, stoked his curiosity and which will continue to inspire him; their thoughts, life experiences and most secret passions. The whole spectrum of human life gazes out at us from the works in the collection. From the confident, striking features and life lines on paper, the foundations of a tremendous vision take shape thanks to this auction: the establishment of an ExilMuseum in Berlin to commemorate the displaced persons of history. For this purpose, Bernd Schultz presents his collection of drawings which has been assembled over six decades with true passion.

The collection of almost 400 works covers a wide range, from the Gothic period into the present day. Watteau and Warhol, Menzel and Baselitz, Corinth and Picasso are represented. Oskar Kokoschka’s twitchy lines from the early 20th century segue into an unsentimental portrait by Max Beckmann and the existentialism of Käthe Kollwitz. The confident draughtsmanship of contemporary artists like Bruce Nauman adds further to the sumptuous depth of the collection.

Just as the lines of a drawing provide insight into the mind of the artist, bright minds of today have written about these works – personally, passionately and poetically. Their texts express the conscious farewell of the collector and provide a powerful surge for success in this new project.

Dr. Stefan Körner
T +49 30 885915 64


After seven years as partner and director of Villa Grisebach, Florian Illies will from the beginning of 2019 de-vote himself to a new endeavour outside the art trade.

Florian Illies was primarily responsible for the 19th Century Art department at Grisebach, which he built up with great competence and extraordinary commitment to  become the market  leader in  Germany.   Micaela  Kapitzky, Illies’ co-director for the last two years, will temporarily carry out this role. Florian Illies will remain closely linked to the auction house as a member of the board.

Micaela Kapitzky and Bernd Schultz: “The partners thank Florian Illies for seven inspiring years and look forward to further productive work with him.“

Florian Illies: “I am very grateful to Grisebach and its partners for seven wonderful years in Fasanenstrasse. Great trust was placed in me from the very beginning and I am glad that I was able to work in and for this special company in various ways. It will forever remain close to my heart.“



The Spring Auctions at Grisebach in Berlin were marked by a record: Max Beckmann’s mysterious portrait of a woman from 1942, “Die Ägypterin“, which had been in the collection of the family of Erhard and Barbara Göpel since its creation, was sold for 5.5 Million EUR* (estimate 1.5–2 Million EUR). This is the highest price ever paid for a painting in Germany. After a long bidding war between thirteen telephone bidders and four collectors in the room, the intimate portrait went to a prominent Swiss private collection.  
An early study by Gabriele Münter from the Blauer Reiter period, painted in Murnau in 1908, was purchased for 575,000 EUR* (estimate 350-450,000 EUR) by a Bavarian collection. The auction 19th Century Art saw Menzel’s pastel “Die Schlittschuhläufer“ being sold to a German museum for 312.000 EUR* (estimate 250-350,000 EUR) in a sweltering auction room.
The growing significance of Contemporary Art at Grisebach is highlighted by the fact that the next highest prices after Beckmann’s “Ägypterin“ were achieved by Anselm Kiefer and Günther Uecker. Kiefer’s impressive “für Velimir Chlebnikow“ was sold for 865,000 EUR* (estimate 700,000-1.000,000 EUR) and Günther Uecker’s nail object “Interferenzen“ found a new admirer for 757,000 EUR* (estimate 500-700,000 EUR).
Another record was set by the Photography auction: Grisebach was able to achieve the highest price ever for a photograph sold in a German auction with a photogramm by László Moholy-Nagy from his time at the Weimar Bauhaus. It was awarded to an American private collection for 488,000 EUR* (estimate 300-500,000 EUR).
Sales from all seven auctions over four days totaled 23.5 Million.

Micaela Kapitzky

Berlin, 2 June 2018

* all results inclusive of buyer’s premium



The Spring auction for Modern and Contemporary Photography on 30 May broke several records. With a lower estimate of 988,000 EUR, total sales reached 1,190,000 EUR*, a record for the Photography department at Grisebach which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Top lot of the evening was a photogram by László Moholy-Nagy, a unique work from the artist’s time at the Weimar Bauhaus. The bid was won by an American collector for 488,000 EUR against two other bidders (estimate 300,000–500,000 EUR). This is the highest price ever reached for a single photograph in Germany.

High prices were also paid for Peter Beard’s “Ahmed Diptych“, which went to a German private collection for 62,500 EUR, and František Drtikol’s pigment print “Composition“ which was purchased by a Belgian collector for 50,000 EUR. Images surpassing their estimate greatly included vintages by Albert Renger-Patzsch (42,500 EUR, estimate 5,000/7,000 EUR), Alfred Ehrhardt (11,250 EUR, estimate 2,500/3,500 EUR), Bernd and Hilla Becher (12,500 EUR, estimate 4,000/6,000 EUR), Alexander Rodchenko (26,250 EUR, estimate 3,000/5,000 EUR) and Hugo Schmölz (4,000 EUR, estimate 400-600 EUR).

Diandra Donecker

T +49 30 885915 27

Berlin, 31 May 2018

* all results inclusive of buyer’s premium


It counts as one of his most beautiful pictures: Max Beckmann’s “Weiblicher Kopf in Blau und Grau - Die Ägypterin”. Created during his exile in Amsterdam in 1942, the painting was acquired from his studio in the same year and has been in the collection of the Beckmann experts Erhard and Barbara Göpel ever since. With an estimated price of €1 500 000 - 2 000 000, ‘The Egyptian’ will be up for auction in Berlin on 31 May and has attracted great national and international interest. Among further highlights from the Modern Art department are an extremely powerful “Selbstbildnis mit geschlossenen Augen” by Käthe Kollwitz (estimated at € 80 000 / 120 000), an early Murnau landscape by Gabriele Münter dating to 1908 (€ 350 000 / 450 000), Paula Modersohn-Becker’s „Mädchen in Dämmerung mit karierter Bluse“ (€ 300 000 / 400 000) and Karl Hofer’s ravishing „Putzmacherin“ from 1922 (€ 280 000 / 350 000). Gert Wollheim’s distinctive portrait of Heinrich George also deserves special attention and will be displayed alongside the famous portraits of the legendary actor by Otto Dix and Max Beckmann (€ 80.000 / 120.000)

The Contemporary Art department can expect the most high-value sale since its establishment: at the forefront of this sale are two top-class works: Anselm Kiefer’s „für Velimir Chlebnikow“ (€ 700 000 / 1 000.000) and Günther Uecker’s „Interferenzen“ (€ 500 000 / 700 000). An abstract photo from the “Freischwimmer” series by Wolfgang Tillmanns is a rare specimen from the most coveted group of works by the most important German photographer (€ 250 000 / 350 000). With paintings by Konrad Kalpheck and Arnulf Rainer, a pillow painting by Gotthard Graubner, and many other works, the department is reckoning with a lower sale estimate of € 4.7 million.

Central to the auction of 19th Century paintings are two works by two of the great German artists of the 19th century: Adolph Menzel and Caspar David Friedrich. Estimated at € 250 000 / 350 000 is Menzel’s large format pastel “Die Schlittschuhläufer” which was long missing and is only now visible for the first time in 60 years. A museum quality watercolour by Caspar David Friedrich dating to the 1820s, a poetic „Mittelgebirgslandschaft“, is estimated at € 200 000 / 300 000.

The Orangerie celebrates the provenance of outstanding artworks from all eras. A broad sweep of art history is covered with the card table of Russia’s Catherine the Great (€ 35 000 / 45 000), Prince Albert’s gold brooch for ‘his’ Queen Victoria (€ 12 000 / 15 000), the life-size equestrian portrait of King Frederick of Sweden (€ 60 000 / 80 000) and the stone Chinese guardian lions of the publishing-King Rudolf Mosse (€ 60 000 / 80 000) among others. Icons of design rich in contrast brush up against one another with works by Marianne Brandt and Dieter Rams as well as the Hollywood Regency designer, Tommy Parzinger (€ 15.000 / 17.000).

The Modern and Contemporary Photography department is delighted to present the most expensive offering ever seen on the German auction market with an estimated price of € 300 000 / 500 000. Forming an introduction to the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus in 2019 is László Moholy-Nagy’s photogram, produced in 1923/25 during his time with the Weimar Bauhaus. In addition, further experimental works by Man Ray, Theodor Roszak and Thomas Ruff as well as others form a fascinating contextualisation of this rarity. Large prints by Alfred Renger-Patzsch from the estate of the architect Fritz Schupp as well as a “Composition” by František Drtikol and three iconic works by Peter Beard constitute the top lots of the auction.

Over 1,500 artworks will be up for auction in the Spring Auctions from 30 May - 2 June with a total lower sale estimate of € 18.3 million. The preview in Berlin begins on 25 May and ends on 29 May in three locations in the Fasanenstraße (25, 27, 73).

Dates of the auctions
30 May 2018, 3pm 19th Century Art
30 May 2018, 6pm Modern and Contemporary Photography
31 May 2018, 11am ORANGERIE Selected Objects
31 May 2018, 6pm Selected Works
1 June 2018, 11am Modern Art
1 June 2018, 6pm Contemporary Art
2 June 2018, 11am/3pm Third Floor – Estimates up to € 3.000


On Wednesday 30 May over 200 lots of Modern and Contemporary Photography will be up for auction at Grisebach in Berlin. The highlight of the auction is a vintage print by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. The photogram, produced during his time at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1923/25, captivates the viewer with a picture full of different, overlapping objects. Moholy-Nagy masterly handles the contrast of substance and transparence. Similar to an X-Ray photograph, the objects appear suffused with light and they form stark contours which then become lost in blurriness. In this valuable unique piece, he unites the principles of avant-garde collage with the technique of an artistic drawing in an extremely poetic way (EUR 300.000/500.000). Frantisek Drtikol shaped erotic photography like barely any other. Drtikol is counted with Jaromir Funke and Jaroslav Rössler among the most important representatives of the Czech avant-garde. In this atmospheric pigment print he shows his model within a subtly illuminated expressionist stage design. Through this setting the naked body and its shadows move away from each other and this creates a dance of seduction between light and shadow (EUR 40.000/60.000).

Peter Beard found the central theme of his life in Africa. The “Ahmed Diptych” is up for auction with the original frame drawings by an African artist alongside two further unique works. The threat to the natural animal kingdom posed by people and civilisation finds an expression here which reflects Beard’s own conflict between tenderness for and worry about a world threatened with destruction.

Along with other avant-garde photographers Otto Steinert developed a new, experimental image aesthetic within “subjective photography”, understanding the individual idea of the image as the opposite of pure illustration and documentation of the visible. The principal example “Zwei Soldaten” stands as an example for this “Neue Sehen”. The vintage print is one of two existing prints, one of which is kept in the collection of the Museum Folkwang, Essen. The auction also includes some characterful landscape and architectural shots by Albert Renger-Patzsch. Three vintage prints are up for auction, straight from the estate of the architect Fritz Schupp, including “Gas und Strom”, which with its size and fine tonality presents the clarity and magic of Renger-Patzsch’s pictorial language in a particularly characterful manner (EUR 5 000/7 000).

Two portraits by Lilian Bassman and a number of prints by Horst P. Horst, Walde Huth and William Klein form an overview of decades of fashion photography. The “Pionierin” (EUR 3.000/5.000) by the Russian constructivist artist Alexander Rodchenko counts among the climactic points of modern photography along with Berenice Abbott's “Water Front: From Roof of IrvingTrust Co. Building, Manhattan” (EUR 7.000/9.000) or Iwao Yamawaki’s “Fassade” (EUR 4.000/6.000). Examples of contemporary photographic art come from William Eggleston, Tod Papageorge, David LaChapelle, Cindy Sherman, Tom Wood, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Ruff, and Robert Mapplethorpe among others.

Diandra Donecker
T 030 885915 27

Berlin, 25. bis 29. Mai 2018
Grisebach, Fasanenstraße 25, 27 und 73
Fr to Mo 10am-6pm, Tue 10am-3pm


22 March until 12 May 2018
Fasanenstrasse 27, 10719 Berlin

Grisebach is pleased to host the exhibition ‘Neue Malerei’ by Christian Jankowski (*1968) from 22 March.

Picasso, Richter, Warhol, Dürer and many others – Jankowski uses works by these iconic artists by sending contemporary photographs of tableaux vivants which he found online to Shenzhen in order to create oil paintings on canvas by local copyists and artists in his Chinese studio. Thus, conceptual art.

The result is not new painting (‘Neue Malerei’) but the idea we have of painting. Not only does this push the bounderies of painting but we have to ask ourselves what art really is.

Jankowski’s unusual approach to masterworks of art could also be described as appropriation art. His unsettlingly beautiful works not only make us wonder whether canon and its underlying principles still exists. They also highlight that factors such as originality and aura – which were traditionally regarded as proof of real artistry – are now put to the test.

Jankowski’s ‘Neue Malerei’ sets an example in that respect. Jankowski holds a professorship for sculpture (installation, performance, video) at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart. He lives and works in Berlin.

The exhibition opens on Wednesday, 21 March at 6 p.m.

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