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Modern and contemporary art at the Karl & Faber Summer 2021 auction: Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munch, Andy Warhol


During the period from 14 to 15 July, 2021, Karl & Faber will be holding Modern and Contemporary art auction featuring more than 1200 lots. Among the highlights are exceptional works by renowned European and American painters and sculptors – Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Marc Chagall (1887-1985), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Joannis Avramidis (1922-2016), Sandro Chia (b. 1946) and other.

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Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky (Moscow, 1866 – 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine).
Title woodcut for the almanac “Der Blaue Reiter“.
Woodcut in colours on Japon laid paper. (1911). Ca. 28 x 22 cm (sheet size).
Very rare hand printed copy of the first version with the word “ALMANACH” still in the text.
More images here.

Title woodcut for the almanac “The blue rider” by Wassily Kandinsky (estimated at € 30'000 – 40'000) features deep blue tint, which according to Kandinsky, encourages spiritual growth and moral purity. The idea of the creation of “The blue rider” dates back to 1911. The almanac was to include reproductions, critics by artists and art experts, as well as exhibition announcements. Apart from Kandinsky the group involved Gabriele Münter, Heinrich Campendonk, Franz and Maria Marc, who also worked on the creation of the title woodcut. Notably, the first version of the woodcut had an inscription “almanac”, which was not approved by the publisher. As a result Kandinsky created the second version of the title without the inscription. This rare woodcut title is part of a historic publication of the single issue of the almanac eventually released by the leading expressionist artist group from the beginning of the XXth century.

Provenance:

  • Galerie Kornfeld, Bern;
  • Private collection, Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2003, acquired in 2003.
Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch (Løten/Hedmark, 1863 – 1944, Ekely near Oslo).
The kiss IV.
Woodcut in grey and black on fine Japon, with the Japon backing mentioned by Schiefler. (1902). Ca. 46.5*47 cm (sheet size ca. 49*54.5 cm).
Signed lower right.
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Woodcut “The kiss IV” by Edvard Munch (estimated at € 120'000-150'000) expresses Munch's art purpose in the depiction of emotions and inner world, which he strived to implement in all his works. The theme of the kiss was with no doubt major in the oeuvres by Munch, and for the first time appeared in his painting in the series “The Frieze of Life”. Later the kiss was found in the woodcuts executed during 1892-1906. In the “The kiss IV” Munch deliberately erased the contours dividing two figures to achieve the effect of fusion to show two persons' strong emotional connection.

Provenance:

  • Laube Antiquariat, Zurich;
  • Klipstein & Kornfeld, Bern, 27.11.1959, lot 469;
  • Private collection, Caracas;
  • Private collection, Bavaria, propagated to the current owner.
Max Ernst
Max Ernst (Brühl bei Köln, 1891 – 1976, Paris).
Oiseaux spectraux.
Oil on cardboard. (1932). Ca. 34.5*21.5 cm.
Signed lower right.
More images here.

Surrealistic “Oiseaux spectraux” by Max Ernst (estimated at € 250'000-350'000) belongs to the theme of a bird, which was Ernst' alter ego. The picture depicts three positions of a figure similar to a pigeon against blue background – sitting, rised and ready to fly. The body of a bird is swathed in bandages as a symbol of resurrection both in Christian and philosophical meanings. This work was part of numerous exhibitions including that in Tate Gallery in 1961.

Literature:

  • Max Ernst Landschaften, hrsg. von Katharina Schmidt, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn 1985.
  • Zuch, Rainer, Max Ernst, der König der Vögel und die mythischen Tiere des Surrealismus, 2004.
  • Galerie Ernst Beyeler, Basel ;
  • Spies, Werner, Metken, Sigrid, Max Ernst Œuvre-Katalog, Werke 1906-1925, Köln 1979.

Exhibitions:

  • Max Ernst, Mayor Gallery, London 1933;
  • Max Ernst, Drawings, Collages 1918-1952, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London 1952;
  • Max Ernst, Tate Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, London 1961; label on the reverse side
  • Petits Formats, Galerie Beyeler, Basel 1978;
  • Max Ernst. Landschaften, Galerie Beyeler, Basel 1985; label on the reverse side
  • Max Ernst, Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn 1985/86; label on the reverse side
  • Max Ernst, Helly Nahmad Gallery, London and New York 2006/07;
  • Le Chant de la Grenouille, the Surrealists in Conversation, Helly Nahmad Gallery, New York 2014;
  • Moon Dancers: Yup’ik Masks and the Surrealists, Di Donna Galleries, New York 2018.

Provenance:

  • The Redfern Gallery, London, two labels on the revese side;
  • Rex Nan Kivell, London;
  • Galerie Ernst Beyeler, Basel;
  • Private collection, Europe;
  • Private collection, Switzerland.
James Castle
James Castle (Garden Valley, 1899 – Boise, 1977).
Untitled (wall section with light plug)
Soot, spit, collage and string on corrugated cardboard. Ca. 26.5 x 10 cm. Fixed in frame.
Not examined out of the frame.
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Untitled work by James Castle depicting the wall section with light plug (estimated at € 15'000-20'000) is executed with the means of soot, which the artist collected in the wood fired oven and mixed with own saliva, as well as cotton balls, apricot pits and broken feathers. James Castle was born deaf in 1899 the fifth child among seven surviving children. He started to draw at the age of six and was self-taughted. Castle’s works became popular in the 1950-s when his nephew showed his drawings in the Museum Art School in Portland, and since then Castle’s works have been widely exhibited around the world.

Exhibitions:

  • James Castle: House Drawings, The Drawing Centre, New York 2020; label on the reverse side.

Provenance:

  • Comes from the artist;
  • Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia;
  • Private collection, Switzerland 2005.
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso (Málaga, 1881 – Mougins near Cannes, 1973).
Femme au chapeau de paille bleue.
Lino print in colours on wove by Arches. (1962).
Ca. 35*27 cm (sheet size ca. 63*44.5 cm).
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“Femme au chapeau de paille bleue” (estimated at € 17’000 – 20’000) was painted by Picasso in January in 1962. The model for this work was Picasso's second wife Jacqueline Roque, who he depicted wearing a light summer thatch hat to express the happiness of the relationship with his last wife and muse.

Note:

  • A copy from an edition of 87 of this version.

Provenance:

  • Comes directly from the artist to the collection of Marina Picasso. Oval label on the reverse side (Lugt 3698).
Sandro Chia
Sandro Chia (b. 1946, Florence).
Angelo
Oil on canvas. (Ca. 1990). Ca. 172,5*198 cm.
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One of the top lots in the contemporary art sale is a monumental painting “Angelo” (estimated at € 45’000 – 50’000) by renowned Italian-American artist Sandro Chia, who is considered one of the main figures in the Italian transavantgarde. Chia's work have bin in the leading museums and galleries – The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Centre Pompidou among others.

Provenance:

  • Gallery d’Arte Contini, Venice.
Joannis Avramidis
Joannis Avramidis (Batumi, 1922 – Vienna, 2016).
Head with distant planes I.
Bronze with golden brown patina. (1969/1970). Ca. 144*35,5*53,5 cm.
A numbered cast from an edition of 3. With incised signature on the front lower right.
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Joannis Avramidis' main objective was the search of a universal depiction of a figure of man as he explored the art of Ancient Greece and the theory of proportions of Renaissance. His “Head with distant planes I” (estimated at € 80’000 – 120’000) is a sculpture consisting of two simple geometric shapes placed upon each other.

Provenance:

  • Gallery Raimund Thomas, Munich;
  • Private collection, Liechtenstein, acquired in 1999.
Paolo Scheggi
Paolo Scheggi (Florence, 1940 – Rome, 1971).
Zone Riflesse.
Acrylic on three layered canvasses. (19)63. Ca. 60*60*5,5 cm.
Signed, dated and titled on the reverse of the canvas.
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“Zone Riflesse” by Paolo Scheggi (estimated at € 180’000 – 200’000) features bold blue colour and made of three layered canvasses to create the effect of changing tint in the oval hollows.

Note:

  • Comes with photo expertise from Franca Scheggi Dall’Acqua, Associazione Paolo Scheggi, Mailand, as of 7.1.2016. The work is registered in the archive: APSM150/0001.

Literature:

  • Exhibition catalogue Paolo Scheggi, Scheggi Dall’Acqua, Franca, Farneti, Deanna, Galleria d´Arte Moderna, Bologna 1976;
  • Exhibition catalogue La breve e intensa stagione di Paolo Scheggi, Barbero, Luca Massimo, Dorfles, Gillo, Galleria d’Arte Niccoli, Parma 2002.

Provenance:

  • In the private collection according to the owner from 1991 to 2016;
  • Sotheby’s, Mailand 25.05.2016, Lot 42;
  • Private collection, Italy.
Sol LeWitt
Sol LeWitt (Hartford/Connecticut, 1928 – New York, 2007).
Form.
Gouache on cardboard by CM Fabriano. 1988. Ca. 56*75,5 cm.
Signed and dated lower right.
More images here.

“Form” by the father of minimalistic and conceptual art Sol LeWitt (estimated at € 25’000 – 30’000) was created after the artist's visit to Italy when he started to use gouache and paint the pictures himself, which was not a characteristic of his oeuvre.

Provenance:

  • Salama-Caro Gallery, London, label on the reverse side;
  • Annemarie Verna Galerie, Zurich, label on the reverse side;
  • Christie’s, London 24.9.2013, Lot 49;
  • Private collection, North Rheine-Westphalia.
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (Pittsburgh, 1928 – New York, 1987).
Hartmut Stöcker.
Acrylic and silkscreen in colours on canvas. 1980. Ca. 102*101,5 cm.
Signed and dated on the reverse on the overturn edge. Unique work.
More images here.

Portrait of a Munich gallerist Hartmut Stöcker (estimated at € 120’000 – 180’000), who Andy Warhol depicted against a delicate blue tint, captures Warhol’s biographical note. While Wahol’s early works were dedicated mostly to the American Dream, later his art became more personal.

Note:

  • With a photo expertise by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts dated 7.2.2014 and photo expertise about the provenance by Christie’s.

Provenance:

  • Comes directly from the artist.
  • Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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Photos and information: courtesy of KARL & FABER


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