Philipp Bauknecht - Sonnenblumen - image-1

Lot 663 Dα

Philipp Bauknecht - Sonnenblumen

Modern Art May 25 2013  25.05.2013, 11:30 - 26.05.2013, 00:00

Estimate: 80.000 € - 120.000 €
Result: 40.016 €

Philipp Bauknecht

ca. 1920-1925

Öl auf Rupfen 70 x 80 cm Ph. Bauknecht

Rau Collection for UNICEF

Presented as a close-up and placed at the edge of the composition, the sunflowers in this painting face the viewer in increasingly expressive complementary contrasts of purple/yellow and orange/blue. The fiery, flame-like shape of the vegetation is interlinked with the sky in this Swiss mountain world. In fact, the structures here are so much interwoven that, in this "all-over", the minute glimpse of the landscape in the bottom left-hand corner is almost unnoticeable.

When Philipp Bauknecht attracted tuberculosis in 1910, he gave up his plan to work as a furniture and interior designer. In the same year he moved from Germany to Davos in Switzerland where he worked as a freelance painter and led a simple and reclusive life. Although, formally, he started off as an adherent of the Art Nouveau style and with subdued colours, his palette grew increasingly vibrant over the years. Like the artist group “Die Brücke” in Dresden, Bauknecht was influenced in his painterly approach by woodcuts. In fact, in 1920 Bauknecht made friends with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner who had also moved to Davos. Many artists and literati derived their special inspiration from the closeness of the mountain world where health and salvation seekers from all European countries mingled with local farmers.

"Bauknecht knows the ecstatic rhythm, agitation and dream of colour. He gives it boldness, endows it with all the various stages of passion and sometimes even adds traces of apocalyptic vision. (...) He destroys nature and relieves it of all empirical reality [...]," says the writer Rudolf Utzinger as he comments on the painter's works (Gioa Smid (ed.), Philipp Bauknecht. Expressionist in Davos, Bussum 2002, p. 114). When Bauknecht died in 1933, his oeuvre vanished in an intellectual vacuum. His widow took the artist's unexhibited works with her when she returned to her homeland, the Netherlands, and it was not until the 1960s that Philipp Bauknecht's paintings attracted the interest of a large public again.


We would like to thank Iris Wazzau, Davos, for additional information


Galerie Kunsthandel Monet J.P. Smid, Amsterdam; Lempertz Auction 524, 27 April 1972, lot 35