Konrad Klapheck - Gefährliche Liebschaften (Les liaisons dangereuses) - image-1

Lot 613 D

Konrad Klapheck - Gefährliche Liebschaften (Les liaisons dangereuses)

Auction 1071 - overview Cologne
04.06.2016, 11:00 - Contemporary Art
Estimate: 120.000 € - 150.000 €
Result: 334.800 € (incl. premium)

Konrad Klapheck

Gefährliche Liebschaften (Les liaisons dangereuses)

Oil on canvas. 125 x 110 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Klapheck 68' verso on canvas.

Konrad Klapheck's art shows a particular fascination for machines and technical apparatus. His clear, objective painting technique includes a precision which underlines the mechanical state of the object, without giving meaning to its actual function. Removed from their original context, the trivial everyday objects appear monumentalized, a stylistic tool which places Klapheck amongst the forerunners of Pop Art. Furthermore the motifs suggest something surreal, where, usually through their title, they are represented in association with human behavioral patterns. The objects hereby become personalities, and their mechanics a part of this.
In the painting Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), the artist depicts the connection of a telephone set with a swivel chair. The inner relationship between them is formed by the telephone cable which is wound elegantly around the chair leg. Stylistically, the shape of the seat on which the telephone is resting is reminiscent of a récamière. The formal similarity of the chair with the French furniture piece charmingly refers to the literary paragon of the title. The direct connection with the novel by Choderlos de Laclos from 1782 imparts the composition with additional elegance and intensifies the relationship of the objects depicted.
Having always sought to explore the mystery of machines, Klapheck created an intimate connection in this work between two lifeless objects, highlighted additionally by the mysterious title. ''[…] it, (the title), transcends the object. It humanizes it, or implies a human association. What is striking is the intonation, be it masculine, be it feminine, be it male-female. The artist readily explained in conversation such anthropomorphism of his machines: for him this is the head, this the breast, this the pelvis - without it being particularly important for him that this is evident to anyone or everyone. Thus he himself places his mechanical creatures in the area of the libidinal: objects between fetish and libido.'' (Werner Schmalenbach, Konrad Klapheck, Objekte zwischen Fetisch und Libido, in: Arturo Schwarz, Klapheck, Mailand 2002, p.66).

Catalogue Raisonné

Pierre 195


Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris; Galerie Charles Kriwin, Brussels (label verso); private collection, Belgium


Rotterdam 1974 (Museum Boyman-van Beuningen), Brussels 1974/1975 (Palais des Beaux-Arts), Düsseldorf 1975 (Städtische Kunsthalle), Konrad Klapheck, exhib.cat.no.62, p.142 with colour illus.
New York 1969 (Sidney Janis Gallery), Konrad Klapheck, 35 Paintings, exhib.cat.no.24, with illus.