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Indepth Arts News:

"Self-portrait by Albert Birkle is Highlight of Auction Moderne and Gegenwart"
2001-11-21 until 2001-12-07
Ketterer Kunst
Hamburg, , DE Germany

A first highlight of the auction Moderne and Gegenwart (Modern and Contemporary), which will take place on 7 December 2001 at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg, Messberg 1, is Albert Birkle's Selbstbildnis 1923 mit der Frisierhaube (Self-Portrait 1923 with a Combing Hood). The work by the member of the Berlin Sezession was painted in 1923 in the style of the Neue Sachlichkeit, with an old-masterly love of detail. It is estimated at DM 50,000 – 60,000. The auction will include more than 1000 lots, including paintings, graphic art, sculptures as well as photographs.

Classic modern art is headed by Emil Nolde’s Schiff im Dock (Ship in a Dockyard). The engraving and shaded etching of 1910 is accompanied by an authenticated photograph signed by Prof. Dr. Martin Urban. It is estimated at DM 20,000 – 24,000.

Tension should rise in the auction room over Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s early engraving Im Schaukelstuhl (In the Rocking Chair). The work, printed in 1907 and described as Eigendruck, is estimated at DM 10,000. At DM 9,500 the estimate of Carl Hofer’s pencil drawing Sich aufstützender weiblicher Rückenakt (Female Nude) of 1910/12 is only slightly lower.

A rarity is Georges Braque’s first graphic work Etude de Nu. The French artist’s trial proof of 1907/08 is part of a series of only eleven known Cubist graphics. The collector piece from Switzerland is estimated at DM 15,000 – 17,000.

Many artists in the early 20th century were strongly influenced by non-European cultures. A key experience for Max Pechstein was his visit to the Palau islands. His Palau IV (Auslegerboot) [Palau IV (Outrigger)] is now up for sale for an estimated DM 9,000 – 12,000. The lithograph was printed in 1918, described as Eigendruck and hand-coloured in harmonious shades.

The same technique can be found in Wilhelm von Ruckteschell’s series Mutter und Kind (Mother and Child), which also includes a watercolour. The artist produced these striking subjects between 1915 and 1921 during his stay in German East Africa. It is estimated at DM 18,000 – 20,000.

A similar subject is shown by Gerhard Marcks in his small bronze with a gold patina Mutter und Sohn (Mother and Son). The work, of which there are no more than 19 casts, was made in 1961 and is estimated at DM 8,000 – 9,000.

Another, less sparing artistic interpretation is Otto Dix’ red chalk drawing Stehender weiblicher Akt (Standing Female Nude) of 1931. The work is documented by Dr. Rainer Pfefferkorn and is estimated at DM 14,000 – 18,000. Surrealist elements appear in the reed pen drawing The Eye and the Finger by George Grosz. The work was made in 1937 in the artist’s American exile. It is estimated at DM 6,500.

Rare, and therefore much sought-after on the auction market are the works by the Berlin artist Jeanne Mammen. Two works by this artist will be up for sale, documenting the artist’s move towards abstraction. Both Stilleben mit Geige (Still-life with Violin) and Stilleben mit Blumenstauß in weißer Vase (Still-life with Bunch of Flowers in White Vase) were made in 1933-36. They are estimated at DM 12,000 each.

A classical element is introduced by Pablo Picasso. His Mousquetaire, an aquatint engraving of 1968, is estimated at DM 9,000 – 11,000, while Joan Miró’s colour lithographs for the series Le Lézard au plumes d’or of 1971 are estimated at DM 10,000 – 12,000.

Illustrating literary works with graphic cycles is popular among many artists, including Salvador Dalí. He made eleven engravings with watercolour for Faust in 1968. The complete series is estimated at DM 10,000 – 12,000. The same price should also be fetched by K.R.H. Sonderborg’s portfolio Oklahoma of 1992, a graphic interpretation of a literary fragment by Franz Kafka in 12 sheets.

Amongst others the auction will include works by the Informel artists Fred Thieler (estimate: DM 13,000 – 14,000) and Theodor Werner (estimate: DM 9,000 – 12,000) as well as works by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Horst Janssen and Klaus Fußmann.

The preview of all works in the auction will take place from 21 – 23 November from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the rooms at Ketterer Kunst Munich in Prinzregentenstraße 61. The works will then be taken to Hamburg, where they can be previewed from 27 – 30 November from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on 1 December from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 3 – 5 December from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Meßberghof 1. The auction catalogue can be obtained for DM 30 from Ketterer Kunst Hamburg by calling tel. no. +49-40-374961-37.

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