Kurt Schwitters - 47 108 Willkie - image-1

Lot 1 Dα

Kurt Schwitters - 47 108 Willkie

Auction 1200 - overview Cologne
01.06.2022, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 30.000 € - 40.000 €
Result: 40.320 € (incl. premium)

Kurt Schwitters

47 108 Willkie

Collage. Paint, silver paper on paper, original mounting on backing card. 17.6 x 14.2 cm. Backing card 26.8 x 22.2 cm. Framed under glass. Signed, dated and titled 'Kurt Schwitters Willkie' lower left on backing card, numbered '108' and dated '47' on the right. - Very good condition. Backing card slightly browned.

“Kurt Schwitters thematised his own civilisation by working with its remains”, writes Isabel Schulz (Isabel Schulz, “Die Kunst ist mir viel zu wertvoll, um als Werkzeug missbraucht zu werden”. Kurt Schwitters und die Politik, in: Schwitters Arp, exh. cat.: Kunstmuseum Basel, 2004, p. 200). In the present work, Schwitters has utilised everyday things which seemed to him to be worthy of artistic exploration, including newspaper cuttings, advertising, headlines and postal stamps. The work’s playful charm occasionally spreads directly to its viewers, who spontaneously try to seek order in the discrete elements brought together to create it. Thus the newspaper fragment “Willkie […]residenti[…]”, which has provided the work with its title, retrospectively recalls Wendell Willkie, who ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 for the office of President of the United States of America. The postal stamp, a collage element repeatedly used by Schwitters, alludes in turn to the United Kingdom, where Schwitters had also fled in 1940.
The distinctive quality of the present collage – once a commissioned work for the legendary New York collector and patron Katherine S. Dreier – is conveyed not least on the level of its constructions and subtle accents of colour in yellow, red and blue.

Catalogue Raisonné

Orchard/Schulz 3480


Katherine S. Dreier, New York 1947 (commission); Stella P. Fontaine, New York, 1966; Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1966 (commission); Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago; Sotheby's London, Auction 1.7.1981, lot 385 a; James Goodman Gallery, New York, until 1982; Praxis Collection, Ira Young, Vancouver, 1982 (Kauf); Christie's, New York, Auction May 1987, lot 141; Galerie Tarica, Paris; Guy Loudmer, Paris, Auction March 1988, lot 44; private property, France, until 1993; Sotheby's, London, Auction 1.12.1993, lot 231; private collection Saxon-Anhalt


Paris 1989 (Musée de la Poste), Coup d'envois ou l'art à la lettre, cat. no. 703, with col. illus. n.p.