The Evening Sale is characterized by a wealth of important works of classical modern art. Highlights include a painting by Lyonel Feininger (€ 400 - 600,000), an important large Picasso-drawing from 1906 (€ 400 - 500,000), a canvas by Juan Gris for € 300 - 350,000, and a painting and a gouache by August Macke (up to € 250,000). These are followed closely by an oil painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker (€ 180 - 220,000) and a pastel by Edgar Degas (€ 180 - 200,000).
Alexej von Jawlensky is represented by three paintings (up to € 160,000), Raoul Dufy with a landscape for € 100 - 130,000, and Max Ernst with one of his mysterious river paintings (€ 110 - 120,000). Works by Mela Muter, a rare canvas by Albert Birkle and a bronze sculpture by Ernst Barlach are all offered for € 80 -100,000.
In private hands for many years, the painting “Still life on a blue table” belongs to Lyonel Feininger’s significant early still lifes. Various sojourns in Paris brought the painter closer to the work of the French Avant-garde and in 1911, the year our still life was created, Feininger exhibited several works in the great exhibition of the “Société des Indépendants” in Paris which featured 6800 works by artists such as Kandinsky, Lehmbruck, Léger and Delauney, amongst others. Paintings by the Cubists Metzinger and Gleizes also attracted much attention at the exhibition; it was Feininger’s encounter with Cubism that changed his conception of nature and cubistic and prismatic structures found their way into his painting. Also offered in the auction is the beautiful early work on paper “Geranium (Harlequin and Clown)” by Feininger from 1908 (lot 80, € 70 - 80,000).
The second noteworthy highlight is Pablo Picasso’s partly wiped, large graphite drawing “Deux femmes nues se tenant” from the year 1906. “Two nudes”, as this outstanding drawing by the 23-year-old Picasso is titled in early exhibition catalogues, was created in one of his most creative periods between Gósol in Spain and Paris. His studies towards the key work “Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon” (1907) began at the end of his ‘Rose Period’ representing a turning point in his creativity. Our drawing can be read as one of the first preparatory studies for this. The 63.5 x 46.3 cm sheet is listed under number 875 in Zervos (lot 13, € 400 - 500,000).
In the short, intense creative period that was granted to him, Juan Gris’s motifs were concentrated primarily on that of still life. Cubism was the only way for him to interpret the visual essence of the representational world that he and his companions aspired to. In our still life “Raisins, carafe et livre” from the year 1922, Gris combined the motivic vocabulary of carafe, book, fruit bowl, newspaper and pipe into a self-contained crystalline structure (lot 61, € 300 - 350,000).
From August Macke we have a canvas and two works on paper. The year 1912, when the present painting “Blumenkasten mit Kaktus” was created, was of vital importance for Macke: this was the year the painter became involved with the artist group ‘Blauer Reiter’ and was close friends with Franz Marc for a while. The pictorial space of our work is structured and dynamised according to new artistic principles (lot 46, € 220 - 250,000). Macke’s gouache “Orientalische Liebespaar” from the same year has been valued at € 80 - 100,000 (lot 48).
“Kinder zwischen Birkenstämmen” by Paula Modersohn-Becker, painted in 1904, has an estimate of € 180 - 220,000 (lot 22). In the layout of the composition, in the selected colours and in the simplification of its visual indications, it provides an exemplary summation of the elements of her developing personal style; the painting once belonged to the artist’s mother.
Edgar Degas’ work “Danseuse rajustant sa coiffure” was painted in around 1900. This well-documented pastel from the artist’s estate sold at auction in Paris in 1918/1919 and is one of the larger format late works on paper (lot 14, € 180 - 200,000). Alexej von Jawlensky is present with three oil paintings: “Dahlien“ from 1932 at € 140 - 160.000 (lot 54), his “Variation 1916 N. 4” from the year 1916 at € 90 - 120,000 (lot 53) and “Großes Stilleben: Blumen in bauchiger Vase” from 1936 at € 40 - 50,000 (lot 55).
Under the influence of the work of Cézanne and through the collaboration with Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy turned to Cubism in around 1908. Formal and constructive questions entered into the foreground. In 1909 Dufy travelled to Munich with Émile-Othon Friesz, a friend from his studies, and their stay left its mark on the oeuvres of both painters in the form of multiple pictures. The work offered here, “Le Jardin à Munich” from 1909/1910, is estimated at € 100/130,000 (lot 63). “Le Gulf Stream” from Max Ernst was painted in 1954 (lot 71a, € 110 - 120,000), whilst “Kellerkinder” is a large-format canvas by Mela Muter painted in 1916 (lot 92, € 80 - 100,000).
Albert Birkle was among the painters of the New Objectivity, however, within this context his work stands out on account of a unique pictorial concept. It is defined by a certain ambivalence: his pictures present expressive heads and inscrutable stories that are set in motion by the pictures, but not resolved. Mysterious and ambiguous, they put viewers under their spell – just as the real models had apparently done, exercising a great fascination over the painter. “Der Bahnwärter” from 1927 has an estimate of € 80 - 100,000 (lot 3).
“Farm building near irrigation ditch with farmer at work and woman doing the laundry” is a significant work by Piet Mondrian. The naturalistic impressionist early work is a market discovery and has just been included under number A43a in the digital catalogue raisonné of Piet Mondrian by the RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History. The oil painting is dated to around 1898 – 1903, a period in which Mondrian’s work was shaped by the intensive observation of the Dutch landscape (lot 18, € 60 - 80,000).
The offer is rounded up by canvases from Alexander Kanoldt (a still life from 1919, lot 1, € 60 - 80,000), Jean Michel Atlan (lot 39, € 40 - 60,000) and by Victor Servranckx‘ “Opus 1” from the year 1928 (lot 71, € 40 - 50,000). Paul Klee is represented by a work on paper from 1918, (lot 81, € 40 - 45,000) and Emil Nolde by two watercolours (lots 82/83, € 40 - 90,000). There are two bronze sculptures by Ernst Barlach and one by Fritz Klimsch (lots 93 und 96, up to € 100,000) and from Ewald Mataré we have a “Tänzelndes Pferd (Chinese Horse)” for € 35 - 45,000 (lot 24).