Contemporary Art - Portrait painting once again presentable

The star lots of the auction include works by Andy Warhol (€ 300/400,000 and € 140/180,000), Gotthard Graubner (€ 250/300,000), Gerhard Richter (€ 130/150,000), A.R. Penck (€ 130/150,000), Günter Fruhtrunk (€ 80/120,000), John Armleder (€ 80/120,000) and Emil Schumacher (€ 80/90,000). In recent years, Lempertz has sold works by William Nelson Copley with great success, and this year, four canvases are offered, including two works valued at € 80/120,000.

At the top stands Andy Warhol’s untitled canvas (Ms. B and Yucca) from 1981. Portraits pertain to Andy Warhol's most renowned works and pervade his entire oeuvre. He captures friends, family members, contemporary celebrities, and strangers in photographs and films and translates these photographic models into drawings and overpainted silkscreens in a painterly manner. In the 1970s, he became a sought-after portrait artist of the international jet set, making portrait painting acceptable again. The superficiality and equally fascinating intensity of depiction are characteristic of his portraits (lot 16, € 300/400,00). Grace Kelly, a further silkscreen from 1984, has an estimate of € 140/180,000 (lot 40).

Gotthard Graubner’s Rufus from 1992/1995 impressively illustrates the optical depth that goes hand in hand with the physical depth of Graubner's colour-space bodies. Since the 1960s, Graubner has devoted himself with great stringency to the intrinsic qualities and embodiment of colour. Colour forfeits any mediating function as a tool of representation; he liberates colour from almost any confinement as well as providing it with spatial depth as a comprehensive space for development. Colour becomes its own independent organism upon which the artist takes as little influence as possible (lot 29, € 250/300,000).

Gerhard Richter’s3.3.89 in oil on paper from 1989 is a wonderful example of the convergence between Richter's exploration of the grey as mirror, base colour and field, in which to lose oneself. The grey is skilfully placed as the starting point of this work. The viewer realises the masterful application of the dark shading at the top and accents of lighter shades – almost white – towards the lower half. Almost as if to give us just the glimpse of this monochromatic shading behind a veil of yellow and orange (lot 26, € 130/150,000). The canvas Geben und Nehmen by A.R. Penck from the year 2005 has an estimate of € 100/150,000. Letters and images within the picture dominate the large format picture, whilst numerous stick figures operate assiduously and are interrelated by arrows pointing to each other. The artist has created a tableau that appears to recount creativity and bustle, its energy reaching across the entire picture plane. By means of three primary colours on a white background, Penck has created an emblematic world using a linear visual vocabulary typical of his work, a world that seems easily accessible, the symbolism and references of which, however, are never clearly decipherable for the viewer (lot 52). Günter Fruhtrunk is represented by an untitled striped canvas from 1970, capturing light and darkness, reducing the plane of the canvas to monochromatic lines and achieving rhythm that echoes past the canvas itself. Since the 1950s, Günter Fruhtrunk has made a name for himself with the reduction of the painterly process to horizontal and diagonal compositions (lot 10, € 80/120,000).

Having sold works by William Nelson Copley to great success in recent years, Lempertz now offers four paintings by this artist. At the pinnacle are Baby Bonnet from 1971 and Bob it, painted seven years later, each for € 80/120,000. In the solo exhibition ‘Recent paintings: Nouns’ held in the New York Alexander Iolas Gallery in 1971, William Copley presented a work series featuring large-format everyday objects in front of strongly coloured backgrounds or in abstract spatial situations. With its intense visual presence, Baby Bonnet is an extraordinarily important painting for the artist also (lot 21). Bob it consolidates a large part of William Copley's classic visual vocabulary. In an environment determined by grey blocks of stone and the chequered tiles of a prison cell, he illustrates a scandalous and unlawful story involving a naked couple – the man still wearing the obligatory bowler hat – an accusing priest, a policeman, a guillotine, and a small dog (lot 22). The 202 x 303 cm untitled mirror foil on wood by John Armleder from the year 1992 is valued at € 80/100,000. The Swiss artist, whose career spans five decades, is famous for delving into different media. As well as paintings and pour paintings, he has created furniture sculptures and integrated various objects into his presentations. The work offered here is a mirror mosaic reminiscent of his expansive installations (lot 9).

The offer is complemented by, among others, two works by Emil Schumacher (Blanco, 1985 and B-5/1971, 1971; lots 60 and 59, € 80/100,000 and € 80/90,000), by Anselm Kiefer (Jakobs Traum, 2004; lot 15, € 60/70,000) and by Joseph Kosuth (A.A.I.A.I. from 1967, silkscreen on aluminium; lot 11, € 40/60,000).

Auction dates

Auction 1188 - Contemporary Art, Day Sale

Photography Post War & Contemporary Art Modern Art
Saturday 04. 12. 2021, 02:00 pm
Lot 300 - 476
Auction 1188
Auction
Cologne
Saturday, Dezember 4
2 pm, Lot 300 – 476

Visitors are required to show the Covid pass or present a valid PCR test.
The auction room is kept free of germs and viruses by a UVC filter system.

The auction will be streamed live at www.lempertz.com.

Kunsthaus Lempertz
Neumarkt 3
50667 Cologne
T+49.221.925729-0
F+49.221.925729-6
Preview
Cologne, Neumarkt 3
Saturday 27 Nov: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday 28 Nov: 11 am – 4 pm
Monday 29 Nov – Thursday 2 Dez:
10 am – 5:30 pm

Brussels, Rue du Grand Cerf 6 Grote Hertstraat
Thursday 4 Nov: 9 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 5 Nov: 9 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday 6 Nov: 11 am – 6 pm

Berlin (selection), Poststraße 22
Friday, 12 Nov: 11 am - 5 pm
Saturday, 13 Nov: 11 am - 5 pm

Visitors are required to show the Covid pass or present a valid PCR test.

Auction 1187 - Contemporary Art, Evening Sale

Photography Post War & Contemporary Art Modern Art
Friday 03. 12. 2021, 06:00 pm
Lot 1 - 73
Auction 1187
Auction
Cologne
Friday, Dezember
6 pm, Lot 1 – 73

You are kindly invited to leave your bids by telephone or online.
Visitors are required to show the Covid pass or present a valid PCR test.

The auction will be streamed live at www.lempertz.com.

Kunsthaus Lempertz
Neumarkt 3
50667 Cologne
T+49.221.925729-0
F+49.221.925729-6
Preview
Cologne, Neumarkt 3
Saturday 27 Nov: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday 28 Nov: 11 am – 4 pm
Monday 29 Nov – Thursday 2 Dez:
10 am – 5:30 pm

Brussels, Rue du Grand Cerf 6 Grote Hertstraat
Thursday 4 Nov: 9 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 5 Nov: 9 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday 6 Nov: 11 am – 6 pm

Berlin (selection), Poststraße 22
Friday, 12 Nov: 11 am - 5 pm
Saturday, 13 Nov: 11 am - 5 pm

Visitors are required to show the Covid pass or present a valid PCR test.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 0221/92 57 29–30.

Edgar Abs
Press and public relations
Cologne, November 2021