Jonas Burgert - Bergung - image-1
Jonas Burgert - Bergung - image-2
Jonas Burgert - Bergung - image-1Jonas Burgert - Bergung - image-2

Lot 27 D

Jonas Burgert - Bergung

Auction 1223 - overview Cologne
06.06.2023, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 50.000 € - 70.000 €
Result: 52.920 € (incl. premium)

Jonas Burgert


Oil on canvas. 160 x 140 cm. Signed, dated and titled 'JONAS BURGERT -Bergung- Burgert 2006' on canvas verso.

With its dense, colour-intensive composition, the fascinating work "Bergung" [rescue] forms the prelude to a three-part group of works from 2006 that is thematically dedicated to the rescue of unconscious people. In the centre of the confined space, a person in an orange suit and cap reminiscent of a harlequin is being transported in a rescue hold. A rod lying between his legs implies an accident during a balancing act. On the left, a figure carries a limp slumped person on his shoulders, outstanding due to the intense yellow of his flower-patterned clothing. On the top right, another man is squatting in an elevated position as an uninvolved observer. Enigmatic details such as the garland he wears as a headdress, the wolf’s head that he’s perched upon and the radially painted circular disc on the wall on the top left further obscure the situation.
The misaligned juxtaposition of persons in varying scales, that can be observed here, is just as characteristic of Burgert’s painting as is the contrast of intense colours and restrained shades of grey. He is renowned for dreamlike sequences that only seem to be of a narrative nature; dystopian settings distorted by perspective are populated by enigmatic figures who, in their garish costumes, often conjure up associations with circus scenes. “Unlike animals, humans struggle with their existence, their definition. This is a phenomenon that interests me. When you see a monkey, it looks like a monkey, or a dog looks like a dog. But a human being does not look like a human being, he is dressed up and bears the insignia of his respective culture. This phenomenon interests me throughout human history, which is why I also use very archaic figures. […] I hope to depict a symbol of humanity with my figures.“ (Jonas Burgert, quoted from: Jonas Burgert, Schutt und Futter, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover 2013, p.22).

Catalogue Raisonné

Daniel Schreiber (ed.), Jonas Burgert, Lebendversuch, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Cologne 2011,


Acquired directly from the artist; charity auction of the Jungen Freunde der Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, 17.02.2006; Private collection, Rhineland Palatinate


Hamburg 2006 (Produzentengalerie), Jonas Burgert,, unpag. with col. illus. (with different dimensions)