In the autumn auction for Modern and Contemporary Photography on November 29th total sales reached EUR 797,250* (EUR 661,200 lower estimated price). The highest awarded bid went to Frank Thiel’s 12-part photo installation “Die Alliierten“ (The Allies) from the collection Wolfgang Joop which went to a private collection in Northern Germany for EUR 100,000* . After a long bidding war, Edward Steichen’s “Foxgloves“ was acquired by a German collector for EUR 77,500* (estimate EUR 50,000–70,000). Ludwig Mies van der Rohe ‘s photomontage (photo: Curt Rehbein) also created a lot of interest and finally went to a private collector in Germany. The photograph of the “bank and office buildings in Stuttgart“ was sold for EUR 41,250* (estimate EUR 10,000–15,000).
The important but challenging work “Hiroshima“ by Christer Strömholm was able to remain its iconic status with EUR 17,500* (estimate EUR 6,000–8,000). Otto Steinert‘s “Appell“ went to the German trade for EUR 20,000* (estimate EUR 12,000 – 15,000).
The graceful beauty of Louis Faurer’s fashion print “Bowing Dress“ was able to wow a private collector for EUR 19,375* (estimate EUR 8,000–10,000).
The following works were also able to increase their estimates significantly a.o.: Aenne Biermann‘s vintage “Spielbälle“ with EUR 8,125* (estimate EUR 1,500–2,000) and Marta Hoepffner‘s “Feuervogel“ with EUR 6,500* (estimate EUR 800–1,000), sold to the trade respectively.
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* All results inclusive of buyer’s premium
With a price of € 1,465,000*, Max Beckmann’s highly symbolic exile painting “Braunes Meer mit Möwen“ from 1941 is the highlight of this year’s Autumn Auctions at Grisebach in Berlin.
Günther Uecker’s nail relief “Fluß“ from 1984 (estimate € 400,000 – 600,000) was sold after a long bidding war for € 1,033,000 to a collector in Hong Kong. Ernst Wilhelm Nay’s monumental painting “Chromatische Scheiben“ was the third most expensive lot with € 985,000 – an auction record for an artwork by Nay.
Altogether, sales totalled 24.2 Million Euros in four days and across nine auctions. The Contemporary Art auction made a vital contribution with a total sale of 8.3 Million Euros – the most successful in this area in the history of Grisebach.
The auctions were once again proof that collectors are prepared to pay remarkable prices for remarkable artworks: Rudolf Schlichter’s expressive portrait of “Helene Weigel“ from 1928 went to Berlin art dealer Wolfgang Wittrock for € 600,000 (estimate € 200,000 – 300,000), Ai Weiwei’s sculpture “F Size“ was sold to a German private collection for € 475,000 and the three postcards by Franz Marc from 1913 all went to the same Bavarian private collection for € 925,000 altogether (estimate 300,000).
One of the highlights was the extraordinary collection of 1920s jewellery from the estate Emil Lettré in the auction ORANGERIE which changed hands for the total sum of € 337,500 (estimate € 178,000). Philipp Otto Runge’s portrait of “Friedrich Perthes“ (estimate € 60,000 – 80,000) was sold to a North American private collection for € 350,000 in the auction 19th Century Art.
Florian Illies: „Grisebach in its modern form has two key areas: Classical Modern Art – which established our house’s reputation and continues to achieve extraordinary results – and German post-war and contemporary art which made a vital contribution to this year’s Autumn Auctions.“
*All results inclusive of buyer’s premium
After several spectacular results for works by Max Beckmann, Grisebach can once again offer a museum-quality painting by the artist this season. The artwork “Braunes Meer mit Möwen“, painted in exile in Amsterdam in 1941, is valued at €1,200,000–1,500,000 and thus the most expensive artwork for sale at auction in Germany this Autumn.
German Impressionism is traditionally one of the main focuses for Grisebach and is represented in this auction by top-class works by Lesser Ury, Lovis Corinth, Leo Putz and eight paintings by Max Liebermann (estimates €400,000/600,000). Special attention should in this auction with “Selected Works“ be paid to a painting by Rudolf Schlichter that had been lost for decades and has now resurfaced: painted in 1928, it features the famous actress and wife of Bertolt Brecht, Helene Weigel. Weigel is depicted as protagonist in Bertolt Brecht/Elisabeth Hauptmann’s dark comedy “Mann ist Mann“ (€200,000/300,000).
Highlight of German post-war art is a spectacular main work by Ernst Wilhelm Nay, the 2x3.5 metres composition “Chromatische Scheiben“ from 1960 (estimate €800,000/1,200,000).
A special catalogue has this season been dedicated to treasures in small format spanning two decades. The auction “Small is Beautiful“ on 30 November has three extremely rare postcards depicting animals by Franz Marc to his artist friend Erich Heckel from 1913 (estimated at €100,000/200,000 each).
More than 1600 artworks will be on offer for the Autumn Auctions at Grisebach from the areas Photography, ORANGERIE, Modern Art and Contemporary Art with an average estimate of €24.2 million.
Auction no. 279
29 November 2017, 6 p.m.
On Wednesday 29 November over 200 lots of modern and contemporary photography will be auctioned at Grisebach in Berlin.
One star lot in this season’s sale is a vintage print by Edward Steichen, the “patriarch of photography“. “Foxgloves“, from 1926, had been personally selected by Steichen and is assumed to have been used as master for his book “Steichen. The Photographer“. The photograph’s excellent quality, sharpness and extraordinary haptic depicts a sensuality and plasticity that is remarkable (EUR 50,000–70,000).
During the 1950s and 1960s, Otto Steinert shaped German photography like no other. Steinert was the founder and influential representative of subjective photography and co-founder of the avant-garde group fotoform. “Appell“ from our auction, dated 1950, testifies that image composition grew in significance in his work from 1945 (EUR 12,000–15,000).
Also up for auction is a rare, preserved photomontage by Mies van der Rohe. Collage and montage were among the most important new genres for the artistic avant garde of the 1920s. Mies used the montage of a draft for a bank and office building on Hindenburgplatz in Stuttgart – that was never built – for a competition in 1928. Mies van der Rohe, the most important architect of the 20th Century to this day, owes his reputation partly to his groundbreaking use of new visual media (EUR 10,000–15,000).
Frank Thiel, known for depicting German history around the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification with great sensitivity, has created a one-of-a-kind work: Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Thiel photographed Allied soldiers and created the twelve-part installation which could be admired until recently in Wolfgang Joop’s Villa Wunderkind in Potsdam (EUR 80,000–120,000).
Impressive architectural urban photographs come from Vera Lutter. The photographer makes use of an old medium for her works with the pinhole camera, Camera Obscura, and makes reference to the origins of photography. The results are monumental architectural views that document (exposure) time (EUR 12,000–18,000 and EUR 15,000–20,000).
Andreas Mühe’s photographic imagery fuses romantic subjects with political figures; he works between reality and fiction, plays with facts and fiction. In the series “A.M. – Eine Deutschlandreise“, Mühe presents Angela Merkel’s doppelganger at symbolic places in Germany. Vicinity and distance, grandeur and alienation blend in this series (EUR 12,000–18,000).
An overview of decades of fashion photography is provided by two portraits by Erwin Blumenfeld and several prints by George Hoyningen-Huene, Louis Faurer, Francois Kollar, Germaine Krull and FC Gundlach. Further highlights of modern photography are vintage prints by Albert Renger- Patzsch: “Landschaft bei Bochum“, 1929 (EUR 4,500–6,500), Aenne Biermann: “Spielbälle“, 1929 (EUR 1,500–2,000), Robert Frank “Ohne Titel (Jungen an der Treppe)“, 1947 (EUR 8,000–10,000) as well as works by August Sander, Eugene Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand, André Kertész, Horst P. Horst, Christer Strömholm a.o.
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Grisebach is very pleased to present the exhibit “MEMENTO MARY” devoted to Mary Bauermeister starting June 21st, 2017. The exhibit will showcase works created from 1958 until 2016. Born in 1934 in Frankfurt am Main, Bauermeister is by now generally recognized as one of the key German artists of the post-war period.
Over thirty pieces have been loaned to us for the exhibit, some of them coming directly from Bauermeister’s residence in Rösrath in the Rhineland, which the artist has ingeniously laid out as a multi-media artistic creation and thus a “Gesamtkunstwerk” in its own right. This rich selection will allow us to present an overview of the multifaceted output of this extraordinary artist.
The exhibits will include early, massive sculptural installations like “Howevercall” from 1964 as well as the artist’s signature stone swirls and vortexes, microcosmic “glass lens boxes,” as well as backlit cloths and patchwork tableaus in the tradition of the Arte Povera movement. Bauermeister usually makes use of organic materials such as rocks, wood, sand, plant fibers or wax, while combining constructed and found elements into intuitive assemblies. Geometric shapes found in nature, such as snail shells, pyramids, and spirals serve as recurring themes in her work.
Mary Bauermeister studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (University of Design) in Ulm under Max Bill and at the Staatliche Schule für Kunst und Gestaltung (State School of Art and Design) in Saarbrücken under Otto Steinert.
A co-founder of the FLUXUS movement, she turned her studio at Lintgasse 28 in Cologne into a creative space for experimental music concerts, readings, exhibits, performances, and happenings, attracting artistic luminaries such as Nam June Paik, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, George Brecht, Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, und Günther Uecker. By the time she had moved to New York in 1962, Bauermeister was well on the way to achieving international renown, and soon her work was being acquired by prestigious institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in her oeuvre.
Bauermeister lives and works in the town of Rösrath, just outside Cologne. Her works are shown in such leading museums as the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and MOMA (New York), the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington D.C.) or the Museum Ludwig (Cologne).
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In sunny weather, a painting full of icy coldness became the most expensive lot at Grisebach’s Spring Auctions this week: Max Beckmann’s “Tiergarten im Winter” doubled its lower estimate and was sold after a long bidding war for 1.8 Million Euros (including premium) to a North American private collection.
The next highest price was achieved by the Contemporary Art sale: Andy Warhol’s canvas “Four Times Mona Lisa” was purchased by an American dealer for EUR 685,000, while Norbert Kricke’s monumental sculpture “Große Fließende” reached the second highest price ever paid for the artist with EUR 462,500. Altogether, sales totalled 17.7 Million Euros in four days and across eight auctions.
With numerous strong results for works from “Classical Modern” and “Contemporary Art”, the auctions demonstrated Grisebach’s ability to build on long-term contacts, establishing its position as an important partner for the international trade.
Extraordinary artworks were awarded with extraordinary prices: Camille Pissarro’s summery “Weg bei Louveciennes” went to a Berlin collection for EUR 460,766, Carl Hofer’s graceful young lady for EUR 412,500 to a South German collection and Lovis Corinth’s big “Liegender Akt” – after several private bids – to an American dealer for EUR 375,000.
Alongside “Classical Modern Art”, “Contemporary Art” has now been established as second key area at Grisebach. With a new record number of telephone bidders and high hammer prices achieved for paintings by Gotthard Graubner, Konrad Klapheck and Markus Lüpertz, the focus on German artists in “Contemporary Art” was acknowledged by international collectors. Never before was a painting by Katharina Grosse more successfully sold at auction than at Grisebach (EUR 137,500).
In the spring auction of Modern and Contemporary Photography on 31 May total sales reached EUR 525,925* (sales rate of 100%). With a hammer price of EUR 50,000*, Albert Renger-Patzsch’s “Das Bäumchen“ went to a German buyer, followed by Karl Blossfeldt’s “Chrysanthemum segetum“ which was purchased by a German collector for EUR 43,750*. An American collector bid EUR 25,000* for the photograph “Borsig Locomotive Works, Berlin“ by Margaret Bourke-White. Aenne Biermann’s “Einblick in ein Klavier“ saw the highest increase on its pre-sale estimate and was purchased for EUR 15,000* by a French art dealer (estimate EUR 3,000–4,000).
There were also high hammer prices in the area of contemporary photography, for example for Helmut Newton’s “Nastassia Kinski and Marlene Dietrich doll, Hollywood“ (EUR 15,000* to a German private collection) and for Sherrie Levine’s works from the series “After Karl Blossfeldt“, purchased by a German collector for EUR 11,250*.
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*All results inclusive of buyer’s premium
Three stand-out works provide the highlights of this year’s Spring Auctions at Grisebach. The sales will take place in Berlin from 31 May to 3 June; almost 1,500 artworks will go under the hammer with a combined estimate of 16 million Euros.
The sale of Selected Works is led by a Berlin picture by Max Beckmann, painted in January 1937 shortly before the artist’s final emigration from Germany (estimate EUR 700,000 – 1,000,000).
The sale of Contemporary Art meanwhile includes “Mona Lisa (Four Times)“ by Andy Warhol, estimated at EUR 500,000 – 700,000. This iconic picture was created in the New York Factory and remained until this sale in the collection of one of Warhol’s former assistants.
The Pissarro summer scene “La Route de Marly, Louveciennes“ (1871) provides the sale of 19th Century Art with a masterpiece of French Impressionism (estimate EUR 400,000 – 600,000).
The sales also boast two outstanding female portraits: Conrad Felixmüller’s “Frau im Wald (Wiesbaden)” of 1918, a fascinating example of how the human and the natural were combined in German expressionism; and “Liegender weiblicher Rückenakt” by Lovis Corinth, a life-sized view of a laying nude from 1887. Both works are estimated at EUR 200,000 – 300,000.
The round of auctions is completed by the sales of “Photography”, “ORANGERIE” and “Third Floor” – accompanied this season by an additional catalogue of Picasso ceramics, an exquisite selection of works offered via Grisebach from a private collection.
Auction no. 271
31 May 2017, 18.00
On Wednesday 31 May over 200 lots of modern and contemporary photography will be auctioned at Grisebach in Berlin.
One star lot in this season’s sale is a vintage or an early gelatine silver print by Albert Renger-Patzsch, “Bäumchen“ (“Little Tree”) of 1929 (38.4 x 27.8 cm). This is a piece of the highest rank: thanks to its powerful presence, a sophisticated composition, and the undoubted technical and artistic virtuosity of the photographer (estimate €40,000 / 60.000). The systematic botanical photographs of Karl Blossfeldt also occupy an important place in the history of photography. In these works Blossfeldt emphasised both the physicality and the graphic quality of the individual plants. A rare vintage print of a leaf of the “Crysanthemum segetum” (1915/25) is offered in the sale with an estimate price of €25,000/30,000.
The photograph “Borsig Locomotive Works, Berlin” (c. 1930), by the American photographer Margaret Bourke-White, provides a highly unusual and expertly composed view of two elements for a locomotive engine. This photograph (€20.000/30.000) was likely taken as reportage. Bourke-White was an early pioneer in this field and was particularly renowned for her work with LIFE magazine.
Further highpoints within this season’s sale are two photo-montages by El Lissitzky for the journal “USSR im BAU” (c. 1937, each €5,000/7,000); Berenice Abbott‘s “Nightview, New York“ (€ 8,000/12,000); Jaromir Funke‘s “Stillleben III. Vera Violetta“ (€ 8,000/12,000); two vintage prints by Umbo (Otto Umbehr); photographs taken with the first German “Fisheye-Kamera“ (each € 5,000/7,000); the Alfred Stieglitz photogravure “The Steerage“ (1907), perhaps the best-known motif from his ground-breaking magazine “Camera Work“ (€ 6,000/8,000); and further photographs by Aenne Biermann, Andreas Feininger, Robert Frank, Otto Steinert, Josef Sudek and Yva, among others.
21 photographs from the time of Germany’s division are collected in a special series within the auction: the differences and similarities between life in the east and west made visual by photographers including Christian Borchert, Kurt Buchwald, Arno Fischer, Leonard Freed, Bernard Larsson, Joachim Richau, Evelyn Richter and Frank Thiel.
Helmut Newton’s „Nastassia Kinski and Marlene Dietrich doll, Hollywood“ (€12,0000/15,000) is among the key lots of contemporary photography, along with Beate Gütschow’s monumental fictional city landscape “S#26“ (€10,000/15,000). Further impressive works on offer include Sherrie Levine’s 1990 “After Karl Blosfeldt“ (€ 6,000/8,000), Thomas Florschütz’s “Diptychon Nr. 133“ (€ 5,000/7,000), Rineke Dijkstra‘s young bullfighter “Vendas Novas, Portugal“ (€ 4.500/5.500) and works by Sibylle Bergemann, Matthias Hoch, Candida Höfer, Daniel Josefsohn, Robert Mapplethorpe, Judith Joy Ross, Thomas Ruff and Tom Wood.
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Auction no. 272
on 1 June 2017, 11 a.m.
For five years now Grisebach’s ORANGERIE auction has presented an outstanding crossover of artworks from different cultures with surprising connections with one another.
Around the World: A bronze Buddha from the Wei Dynasty, made in the 5th century and thus one of the earliest testimonies to Buddhist culture in China, originates from the collection of the legendary Editha Leppich, who was an art dealer in Peking in the 1930s. The simplicity of the lines of a collection of 2,500-year-old jade pendants from Costa Rica is astonishing. These contrast with the accessories and clothing by Christian Dior who 70 years ago established his fashion house to create the perfect line for women. The ceremonial swing from Rajasthan was an exotic form of air-conditioning for India’s Hindu god Krishna; Peter Behrens’ unusually large ventilator of 1908 also caused a welcome draught and thus made industrial history. The juxtaposition of Namban laquerwork from Japan with a cabinet by the Baroque lacquer artist Gérard Dagly is equally fascinating.
Design Meets Movie: Two desks at the ORANGERIE auction made design and film history. One of these, George Nelson’s Action Office – in 1960 the world’s first office system – played a prominent role in Stanley Kubrick’s film “Space Odyssey”. The other, the design classic by the Danish designer Bodil Kjær, dating back to the early 1960s, was James Bond’s desk in “From Russia with Love”.
From Russia with Love: The artworks from the Russian imperial court presented at the ORANGERIE auction are outstanding. They include a 10 kg silver tureen from the Perm service for Catherine the Great, which until 1930 was in the Russian State Treasury in the Hermitage. Grand Duchess Alexandra’s shiny golden Champagne cooler was part of what was probably the most extravagant trousseau the world had ever seen. Peter the Great’s midday cannon, which once “blasted” the time at Petersburg Fortress, is another curiosity.
Sex Sells: The auction’s showpiece is a sculpture of a nude model for the Life Room of the Viennese Academy by Franz Xaver Seeger. The artist, who was Messerschmidt’s best friend, created this life-sized dancing figure in 1783 so that the students could familiarize themselves with the human anatomy and musculature. This piece is confronted with bellows from West Africa, which to our Western eyes look like a hermaphrodite.
Berlin, Berlin: The ORANGERIE also focuses on works which tell the city’s cultural history: They include a charming small head of a young girl by Christian Daniel Rauch, showing his beloved granddaughter, one of the rare opaque glass vases by Werner & Mieth, and also lamps from the Music Reading Room of the GDR State Library of 1968.
The auction “ORANGERIE Selected Objects” shows – as is usual in an orangery – the best from all over the world. Epochs, genres and materials know no bounds in art. The ORANGERIE thus encourages “crossover” when collecting.
Dr. Stefan Körner
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