In the Evening Sale of this year’s autumn season at Lempertz, Max Liebermann leads us into his garden at Wannsee while Paula Modersohn-Becker takes us to Worpswede. August Macke introduces us to children from his Bonn neighbourhood, and Emil Nolde shows us what makes the atmosphere in his home on the North Sea so special, whilst David Hockney invites us onto the terrace of the Grand Hotel in the Contemporary Art.
Creativity blossoms where one feels at home. The garden of his villa on the Wannsee was such a place for Max Liebermann, where a number of paintings were created. He purchased the last available lakeside plot in 1909 and established his villa and garden. Around 1928, his artistic focus lay in particular on the kitchen garden on the street side of the house, finding the subjects that particularly fascinated him at this time in the lush beds and borders next to the gardener’s house - where today tickets to the Liebermann Museum can be acquired. An important example of the works created here is the ‘Blumenstauden am Gärtnerhaus nach Osten’ (lot 9, estimate € 380/420,000), to be auctioned at Lempertz on 1st December.
Paula Modersohn-Becker painted ‘Sitzender Junge mit Strohhut unter Birken‘ in Worpswede in 1904 - she found inspiration and her most important motifs in the people of the rural region. In 1917, the painting was owned by the Expressionist Bernhard Hoetger: not least because of Paula Modersohn-Becker, he had also succumbed to the charm of the place and moved to the artists’ colony.
August Macke saw the two children who appear in his museum-quality painting ‘Kinder mit Ziege im Wald’ (lot 28, estimate € 700/800,000) in the immediate vicinity of his home in Bonn. At the height of his creative period in 1912, he created a work in which the children form a point of calm in the midst of an extremely dynamic environment influenced by contemporary art trends from France and Italy.
Emil Hansen felt so connected to his North Friesland homeland that he changed his name to Emil Nolde after his birthplace. This North Sea landscape is characterised by rapid changes in weather and the wide skies, and Nolde masterly captures both in his dramatic landscape picture ‘Nachmittagswolken, Friesland’ (lot 22, estimate € 1-1.2 million). Just one year after its creation, the picture was owned by the Hannover collector Bernhard Sprengel.
Standing out amongst the contemporary offer is an impressive drawing by David Hockney. Having spent enough time in the USA, he rediscovered Europe for himself on a round trip, which resulted in a series of drawings of his favoured fashionable lodgings. One particularly beautiful example is the ‘Grand Hotel Terrace, Vittel’ (lot 51, estimate € 300/400,000).
Josef Albers found his artistic home in the square. This is not only the name of the museum that looks after the estate and work of the artist and art theorist. Above all, Albers explored this motif artistically for over 26 years, for example in his ‘Study for Homage to the Square’ (lot 40, estimate € 250/350,000). His enthusiasm for mathematics may have provided the impetus, but as a painter he was interested in the colours - the orthogonal structure giving the colours the stable framework in which they work together.
Christo's wrapping of the Reichstag in 1995 was a great gift to the city of Berlin and its people. Those who were there still remember this event fondly, a day which was preceded, however, by decades of planning. The large-format drawing ‘Wrapped Reichstag’ (lot 21, estimate € 100/150,000) dates from 1977, when Berlin was nowhere near as much in the spotlight as it was for the actual wrapping in 1995 - an early design by Christo for one of his most popular projects. It is not only the format and the early creation that make this sheet special; as a unique piece, it also stands out from most artefacts by Christo that can still be collected today.
The fields of his native Mecklenburg, swaying in the wind, play a significant roll for Günther Uecker. They inspired him to create his nail pictures, which are now amongst the most highly traded works of German post-war art. The ‘Field’ from 1993 (lot 48, estimate €150/200,000) makes this reference immediately recognisable.