Otakar Kubin (Othon Coubine) - In Gedanken - image-1
Otakar Kubin (Othon Coubine) - In Gedanken - image-2
Otakar Kubin (Othon Coubine) - In Gedanken - image-1Otakar Kubin (Othon Coubine) - In Gedanken - image-2

Lot 30 Dα

Otakar Kubin (Othon Coubine) - In Gedanken

Auction 1177 - overview Cologne
17.06.2021, 18:00 - Modern/Contemporary Art - Evening Sale
Estimate: 80.000 € - 120.000 €
Result: 200.000 € (incl. premium)

Otakar Kubin (Othon Coubine)

In Gedanken

Oil on canvas 55 x 46 cm Framed. Signed 'O. Kubin' in black lower left. Verso with printed gallery label "Der Sturm / Zeitschrift / Herausgeber Herwarth Walden", thereon with typewritten inscription "Otakar Kubin/ Paris/ In Gedanken".

In 1912 Herwarth Walden opened his legendary Berlin gallery, Der Sturm, where he presented an international line-up of key avant-garde artists, among whom there were also several Czech painters and sculptors. These included Emil Filla, Otto Gutfreund and Vincenc Beneš, whose works were presented multiple times at the gallery's group exhibitions. However, the only Czech artist for whom Walden organised a solo exhibition was Otakar Kubin. It was shown in April and May of 1914, as the gallery's 25th exhibition, and presented 30 of his recent paintings. Under the number 21, the exhibition catalogue also lists - without illustrating - the work offered here: “In Gedanken”.
Otakar Kubin was educated in Czechia and was initially influenced by French post-impressionism. The artist travelled through Belgium, France and Italy from 1904 and settled in Paris in 1912. During a short period consisting solely of the years 1913 and 1914, Otakar Kubin combined Cubist and Expressionist stylistic devices into a very reductive, unmistakable form of expression. His motifs, mostly images of figures and still lifes, possess a mystical air in their archaic simplicity. They are depicted in angular, crystalline forms; in terms of colour, blue and yellow dominate. “It points to the unusual distinctiveness of Kubin's construction of the new people of new worlds, something like pagan prophets of the new age of humanity. They have strange stiff pantomimic gestures and from their truncated, angular and cubic forms there radiates a magical light, a kind of aura, which emphasizes the spiritual disposition of the paintings,” is Vojtech Lahoda's apt description of these extraordinary works (in: Der Sturm - Zentrum der Avantgarde, exhib. cat. Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal 2012, vol. II, p. 511). In the 1920s Kubin found his way to his later neoclassical, lyrical style.
The painting offered at this auction is a rare example of the important Cubist phase in Kubin's work, with which he set pioneering accents within the circle of Der Sturm.


The painting underwent art technological examination at CICS (Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences), Technische Hochschule, Cologne. An examination report dated 3 May 2021 is available.


Galerie Der Sturm, Berlin (1914; label verso); Private collection, Berlin; Collection Kuno Kallenbach, Tann; Private possession, Baden-Württemberg


Berlin 1914 (Galerie Der Sturm), Otakar Kubin, cat. no. 21 without illus.