Press releases 2014

A new chapter opened. This weekend the inaugural auction “Contemporary Art” was held at Villa Grisebach’s newly added galleries at Fasanenstrasse 27: With more than 400 guests attending and a total of 150 bidders on the telephones paintings by Anselm Kiefer (EUR 312,500*) and Georg Baselitz (EUR 250,000) fetched the highest hammer prices.

The top-selling lot of the series of eight auctions was a work in the “19th Century Art” sale. The EUR 3,295,000 achieved for Adolf Menzel’s gouache, “Stehende Rüstungen” (estimate: EUR 100,000 / 150,000), turned into the world auction record for a work by the artist, exceeding the previous record by more than a million euros. The winning bid came form a Swiss private collector against eleven bidders on the telephones and numerous bidders in the room. Concurrently, it became the highest price in Germany ever paid at auction for a work on paper.  Another spectacular price was achieved for a rare print by Caspar David Friedrich. “Die Frau mit dem Spinnennetz (Melancholie)” brought EUR 901,000 (estimate: EUR 10,000 / 15,000).

In the “Selected Works” auction the last painting Max Beckmann painted in Germany in 1937 before emigrating was sold: Depicting dark looming clouds at a beach on the North Sea island of Wangerooge, it sold after a bidding battle for EUR 1,397,500 to a German private collector.

“Prints” was established in an inaugural auction: Here, the top-selling lot was “Der Kuss” by Edvard Munch. The hand-colored woodcut sold for EUR 500,000 (estimate: EUR 180,000 / 240,000) to a Scandinavian private collector.

Equally successful was the “ORANGERIE” auction featuring selected objects from five centuries. Against recent trends every piece of furniture sold for a high price. For the first time, the auction’s total was short of one million euros.

Bernd Schultz: “We are pleased that Villa Grisebach now has a proper location for 21st century art. And we welcome that the Contemporary Art, 19th Century Art, Photography and ORANGERIE departments contribute to represent to the art loving public our program with its strength in Modern Art. The fall auctions’ total is 21 million euros.“

Micaela Kapitzky

*all prices include buyer’s premium

With a total pre-sale estimate of EUR 596,100 Villa Grisebach’s fall photography auction achieved a total of EUR 655,250,* selling 110% by value.

The auction’s top-selling lots were two works by Peter Beard. After a long bidding battle the portrait, “Fayel Tall. El Molo Bay, Lake Rudolf,” sold for EUR 37,500 to a German private collection (estimate: EUR 14,000 / 18,000). Another German collector placed the winning bid on Beard’s “Maureen at 2:00 am, Hog Ranch” for EUR 36,250 (estimate: EUR 20,000 / 30,000). Hiroshi Sugimoto’s “Sea of Japan Hokkaido I” from the “Seascapes” series went for EUR 22,500 to the German trade.

The extraordinary “Panorama von Moskau,” owned by the same family since 1868, was acquired for EUR 19,375 (estimate: EUR 6,000 / 8,000) by a German dealer. A rare pigment print by Czech photo artist Frantisek Drtikol was bought for EUR 18,750 by an American collector, the bromoil transfer print, “Esche” by Rudolf Koppitz for EUR 18,750 by an Austrian dealer (estimates: EUR 15,000 / 20,000, each).

Roman Vishniac’s photograph “Cheder Pupils” from the “The Vanished World” portfolio aroused considerable interest. Numerous sources bid the work to a selling price of EUR EUR 14,750, placed by the prevailing collector from Switzerland (estimate: EUR 2,000 / 3,000).

Franziska Schmidt 
T +49 30 885915 27 · franziska.schmidt@grisebach.com

* all prices include buyer’s premium

In the summer of 1937, when preparations were underway in Munich for the exhibition “Degenerate Art”, Max Beckmann, at the beach of Wangerooge Island, was working on “Stürmische Nordsee,” the last painting he would complete in Germany. Shortly afterwards, he emigrated to Amsterdam, never again returning to Germany. Villa Grisebach is pleased to announce that the painting of looming grey banks of clouds, formerly from the collection of Beckmann’s friend, Stephan Lackner, has returned to Germany and will be offered for sale on November 27 with an estimate of EUR 800,000-1,200,000.

During the Berlin auction week of November 26-29 a total of 1,438 works of art in eight catalogues will be offered at a median pre-sale estimate of EUR 17 million. The new 400 sqm expansion at Fasanenstraße 27, adjacent to Grisebach’s traditional headquarters, will be dedicated from now on to the activities of the Contemporary Art Department. “BRD. Contemporary Art From Germany” will be the special theme of the inaugural auction, featuring a concise selection of important works by Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer (“Dein blondes Haar, Margarete,” 1981, EUR 250,000-350,000), Thomas Schütte, Georg Baselitz and Neo Rauch – as well as numerous works of the German ZERO movement.

Further auction highlights include a comprehensive collection of German Expressionist works on paper, from Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to Heinrich Campendonk. An 1866 “Rüstkammer-Phantasie” by Adolph Menzel, restituted by the Albertina to the heirs of Menzel’s first dealer, Hermann Pächter (EUR 100,000-150,000), is leading the “19th Century Art” auction.

A new prints catalogue spans works by Toulouse-Lautrec through Alex Katz. The auction’s highlight is the rare “Der Kuß I” by Edvard Munch (EUR 180,000-240,000).

“ORANGERIE,” the auction of selected objects from five centuries, centers around an iconic piece of German carpentry: the “Walderdorff Commode,” completed by Abraham Roentgen in 1755 (EUR 200,000-300,000).

Micaela Kapitzky    
                                                                                                       
Berlin, November 12, 2014

In the center of the upcoming ORANGERIE auction is an icon of German craftsmanship: The legendary “Walderdorff-Commode” was the first important commission in 1755 for the ingenious furniture artist, Abraham Roentgen. Created for the Prince Elector of Trier, the commode was owned by the same family for more than 200 years. The estimate is EUR 200,000 / 300,000.

Still in its infancy, the ORANGERIE auction seeks to inspire a “zest for beholding” by presenting a crossover of material from five centuries of the highest level. The range includes Old Master paintings as much as a movie prop, Romy Schneider’s hat from “La Banquière” (EUR 2,000 / 3,000).

A thematic focus lies on the subject, rich in associations, of Gracefulness –from an exceptionally tall medieval Madonna made of amber (EUR 10,000 / 15,000) to René Gruau’s efficient-virtuoso fashion drawings from the 1950s and 60s (each EUR 18,000 / 24,000).

Under the The Line of Beauty creed the eccentric, meandering “Looped Chandelier With Gold Ruby Glass,” created in 1811 for the residence of King Jérôme Bonapartes (EUR 90,000 / 150,000), and the powerful lines of Ron Arad’s 1989 “Little Heavy” come together (EUR 25,000 / 35,000).

Bizarre and artful works of art are gathered in Model Nature, the catalog’s third chapter. A swaying, elegant Table en cabinet is an extraordinary testimony to the art of the naturalistic Rococo (EUR 20,000 / 30,000) and one of the highlights in the group.

Scenic are a magic miniature by Adam Elsheimer (EUR 8,000 / 12,000), stage settings from the roaring twenties in Berlin (EUR 4,000 / 6,000) and two gothic angles, candle holders, by Domenico da Tolmezzo (EUR 45,000 / 50,000), artfully putting a light source in scene.

The 70-works strong catalog unites articles by art historians from all over Europe with essays by the artist Daniel Spoerri, the collector Peter Raue and chief editor of Harper*s Bazaar Margit J. Mayer.

Dr. Stefan Körner 
T +49 30 885915 64 · stefan.koerner@grisebach.com

During Villa Grisebach's four-day spring auctions works of art for a total of 18.5 million Euros were sold. The response by German and international collectors was the greatest as of yet. Aside from the numerous bidders in the room 850 telephone and more than 1,300 absentee bidders fought over the about 1,650 lots.
The top-selling lot of the auction week was an early landscape painting by Max Liebermann sold in the „19th Century Art“ sale for € 575,000* (estimate: € 300,000/400,000). With a total of 3 million Euros including premium and a pre-auction estimate of 1.5 to 2 million Euros it was the most sucessful sale since the department's foundation in 2011. The second highest-selling lot was a large landscape painting by Joseph Anton Koch purchased for € 312,500 by a private collector in California (€ 140,000/180,000).

In the evening sale two works of modern art brought a high increase: in an international bidding battle a white relief by Ben Nicholson rose to € 537,500 (€ 120,000/150,000) and a sculpture, only 19 centimeters tall, by Eduardo Chillida achieved € 562,500 (€ 180,000/240,000). International interest in Frantisek Kupka's early portrait of a woman, „Der rosafarbene Hut,“ resulted in the high price of € 350,000 (€ 120,000/150,000).

Particularly strong results were achieved by the Contemporary Art department. Highlights were the € 337,500 achieved for a large painting by Konrad Klapheck (€ 200,000/300,000) and numerous very high prices for works by Günther Förg.

Through the strong participation of young collectors and online bidders the „Third Floor“ auction with estimates up to € 3,000 achieved its best result to date. The sale total was short of 1 million Euros.

Micaela Kapitzky 
T + 49 30 885915 32 · micaela.kapitzky@grisebach.com

* prices include buyer's premium

With a total pre-sale estimate of EUR 796,000 Villa Grisebach’s spring photography auction totaled EUR 699,262,* selling 87 % by value.

Interest was particularly strong in the group of “Czech Photography” sold in a separate part of the catalog. With a total pre-sale estimate of EUR 24,800 the 38 photographs from an Austrian private collection achieved EUR 82,875,* selling for more than 300 % by value.

The top-selling lot in the Modern Photography section was “Rhythmus und Struktur,” a rare vintage print by Otto Steinert, purchased for EUR 27,500* by an American private collector (estimate: EUR 20,000/30,000). Diane Arbus’ “Two Ladies at the Automat, N.Y.C.” went for EUR 15,000* to an American dealer (EUR 10,000/15,000), the exposure montage by Heinz Hajek-Halke for EUR 11,250* to an Italian private collector (EUR 4,000/6,000).

The Contemporary Photography section’s top-selling lots were Helmut Newton’s “Domestic Nude III,” sold for EUR 30,000* (EUR 20,000/30,000) to a German private collector, followed by the portfolio “Selbstbemalung II” by Günter Brus, which went for EUR 23,750* (EUR 12.000/15.000) to an Austrian collection, and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photograph “Sea of Japan, Oki,” purchased for EUR 20,000* (EUR 15,000/20,000) by a Swiss collector.

Franziska Schmidt 
T +49 30 885915 27 · franziska.schmidt@grisebach.com

* all prices incl. buyer’s premium

The 225th auction will be the most extensive in the history of Villa Grisebach. From 28thto 31stMay a total of 1,650 art works will be offered for sale, with a mid-estimate total of23 million Euros. The star lot will be the museum-quality Heinrich Campendonkpainting “Landschaft mit zwei Kühen“ (landscape with two cows), a masterpiece of German expressionism created exactly one century ago. The work was last on public displayin a Campendonk retrospective exhibitionin 1960,and is estimated at between 2 and 3 million Euros.

With these spring auctions Villa Grisebach restates its position as the leading sale room for German art of the19th to 21st centuries. From two drawings by Caspar David Friedrich,and masterworks by Joseph Anton Koch and Franz von Stuck, the lots traverse both Brücke expressionism and the artists of the Blauer Reiter, key works of post-War modernism by Joseph Beuys, Josef Albers, Hermann Glöckner and Konrad Klapheck among others, through to contemporary artists including Neo Rauch, Sigmar Polke and Georg Baselitz. From a price perspective, alongside the Campendonk, German highlights include animpassioned floral still life by Lovis Corinth,and an almost life-sized bust of a woman by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, both of which carry estimates of between 400,000 and 600,000 Euros.

The international offering of post-1945 art in these sales isalsoparticularly strong. Lots include paintings by Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier and Hans Hartung, installations by Ilya Kabakov and Jannis Kounellis, and drawings by Miro, Giacometti, Matisse, Picasso and Chillida, who is also represented by two exceptional sculptural works.

Auction week begins on Wednesday 28th May with the auctions “19th Century“ and “Photography“, continuing on Thursday 29th May with the auction “ORANGERIE“ (which includes a 17th-century ivory carving by Jacob Auer estimated at between 200,000 and 300,000 Euros). The evening auction “Selected Works“ will take place on 29thMay at 5 pm. Friday 30th May will see the sales of “Modern Art“ and “Contemporary Art“. The Saturday auction “Third Floor“, comprising objects with estimates of up to 3,000 Euros, will close this remarkable seasonof sales.

Micaela Kapitzky  
T +49 30 885915 32 · micaela.kapitzky@grisebach.com

This spring Grisebach’s “ORANGERIE” catalog presents affinities: Strong artistic, historical and thematic references are provided by the exquisite works of decorative and fine art, hence affording a multitude of conversational topics.

· A richly illuminated book of hours by the Master of the Rouen Échevinage (1465) meets a gothic antiphonary (both € 10,000).
· Anton Graff’s self-portrait, infamous around 1900 (€ 25,000), is featured alongside the artist’s palette that comes with an illustrious list of later owners (€1,800).
· A group of classicist miniatures formerly owned by Count Esterházy, among them a work by Heinrich Füger, was re-united from multiple private collections in the ORANGERIE – same as a piece of furniture from Schloss Hernstein designed by the Ringstraße architect Theophil Hansen (€ 10,000).
· Gustav Mahler’s death mask taken by Carl Moll in 1911 (€ 6,000) encounters a guard figure of the Borneo death cult from the same time (€ 12,000).
· Watercolors for fairy tale book illustrations, elaborately executed in great detail, by Victor Paul Mohn (€ 5,000) are seen alongside designs, rich in imagery, for Art Déco book covers (€ 8,500).
· A 1942 portfolio of photographs by Albert Renger-Patzsch documenting the war-destructed Lübeck (€ 12,000) receives a commentary through Thomas Mann’s unpublished manuscript of his BBC radio address of January 14, 1943 (€ 6,000)
· But one standing and one unique seated warrior from Costa Rica (€ 25,000 and 30,000), too, come together for the ORANGERIE sale in Berlin.

The auction’s highlight is an ivory relief by the renowned Jacob Auer (after 1691). The excitingly virtuoso execution of the leaf’s miniscule tendrils and leaves takes the beholder by surprise (€ 200,000). The great appreciation the piece of virtuosity received by later generations is represented by the addition in ca. 1770 of a family altar.

The ORANGERIE wants to encourage cross-over collecting. The auction preview will present the sale’s auratic objects together with the contemporary works of art. It is certain that here, too, they will afford a multitude of conversational topics.

Dr. Stefan Körner 

T +49 30 885915 64, stefan.koerner@grisebach.com