At € 400/600,000, the field is led by a sponge sculpture by Yves Klein. He is followed by canvases from Marlene Dumas (€400/500,000) and Sean Scully (€ 280/320,000), whilst paintings from Yoshitomo Nara and Zdeněk Sýkora are each offered for € 180/220,000. Asger Jorn is at € 100/150,000 and Imi Knoebel at € 80/120,000. A sculpture by Joannis Avramidis has an estimate of € 70/100,000, and works by Heinz Mack, William Nelson Copley, Giorgio Morandini and Isa Genzken are set between € 70,000 and € 90,000.
The prominent sponge sculpture “Sculpture éponge bleue sans titre (SE 328)” from around 1959 is exemplary for the oeuvre of Yves Klein – a versatile, radical artist who breaks with the traditions of modernism in his intense work and opens up completely new perspectives for contemporary art.
In 1961, Paul Wember – director of the avant garde Krefeld Museum’s Haus Lange – initiated a large overview show of Yves Klein, which the artist himself conceived as a complete artwork. In this now legendary exhibition, the incredible work offered here was presented in the Blaue Zone, a room filled solely with monochrome blue pictures and sponge sculptures (lot 11, €400/600,000).
The 60 x 50 cm canvas “The Window” from 1992 is an unusual and exceptionally interesting picture for Marlene Dumas, as it turns the artist’s usual habits of representation upside down. As a matter of principle, and quite deliberately, Dumas keeps the message of her works in suspense; the viewer does not receive any help from her in interpreting them. “The Window”, quiet and mysterious, holds all possibilities for the viewer’s interpretation (lot 46, € 400/500,000).
During 1997 and 1998, Sean Scully worked on a loose series of paintings which he named after Caribbean islands. In addition to the painting “Aruba” on offer here, there are, among others, “Bonaire”, “Curacao”, and “Anguilla”. The sequences of horizontally and vertically juxtaposed stripes lend the painting a superficial austerity and linearity, however, upon closer inspection, a multi-layered vitality is disclosed. The style of painting is characterised by a certain irregularity; hand-drawn vibrating lines and blurred contours soften and enliven the severity of the composition. The impasto paint, applied in multiple layers, nevertheless allows the deeper layers to partially show through, evoking a pictorial world hidden beneath the surface. Two so-called insets containing the narrower sequences of stripes disrupt the actual pictorial space visually and physically (lot 35, € 280/320,000).
Yoshitomo Nara’s untitled acrylic painting on window glass from 1991 has an estimate of € 180/220,000. In 1991, the year in which the work on offer was created, the Japanese artist was studying at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf under A.R. Penck. The influence of his teacher can be discerned in this early work which is reminiscent of a child's drawing due to its highly simplified, sketch-like execution. It thus contrasts with Nara’s later paintings which are characterised by a smooth, flawless visual vocabulary (lot 57).
Lines in unusual widths and thicknesses dominate the present canvas “Linien Nr. 31” from 1985, the large-format work by Zdeněk Sýkora from a series of line pictures on which the artist has been working since 1973 (lot 14, € 180/220,000).
Four works by Asger Jorn are offered in this auction, which trace the development of his painting over two decades. “Dichter & Denker”, painted in 1962, is a portrait dedicated to the art historian Werner Haftman, and probably depicting him. Painted in long, smooth brushstrokes on an almost monochrome background, it is clearly quieter than the earlier works and coincides with a creative period in which the artist was often engaged with portraits (lot 67, € 100/150,000). The three further works by Jorn from the years 1942, 1953 and 1956 are valued between € 30,000 and € 70,000.
Imi Knoebel is present with an untitled painting from 1984, valued at € 80/120,000 (lot 54), whilst “Odyshape”, created eleven years later, has an estimate of € 55/65,000 (lot 1). The 116 cm high bronze “Kleine Humanitätssäule I” by Joannis Avramidis is set at € 70/100,000 (lot 13).
A characteristic canvas by William Nelson Copley has an estimate of € 80/90,000 (lot 3), whilst three works by Giorgio Morandini, Isa Genzken and Heinz Mack are each valued at € 70/90,000 (lots 33, 6, 12). Estimates of between € 60,000 and € 80,000 have been attributed to works by Emil Schmacher (lot 63), Pier Paolo Calzolari (lot 15), Albert Oehlen (lot 72) and Jan J. Schoonhoven (lot 69), and € 40/60,000 for a painting by Arnulf Rainer and a further picture by Emil Schumacher (lot 53, 62). Two drawings by Louise Bourgeois from 1947 carry a value of € 40/50,000 (lots 8, 9).