At the pinnacle of the Evening Sale of Contemporary Art with € 365,000 was a special work by Josef Albers of sand-strewn glass. A colour-space body by Gotthard Graubner reached € 176,000, and another, € 88,000. Two pieces by Günther Förg sold above the € 100,000 line for € 139,000 and € 101,000 respectively, which Andy Warhol’s colour silkscreen ‘Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) also easily achieved. On Kawara also easily surpassed this limit with € 189,000, as did a candle picture by Gerhard Richter with € 126,000.
In total, last weekend’s auctions brought in 10.2 million euros.
Josef Albers was present with a rare artwork. His 29 x 37 cm blue-violet ‘Becher’ from 1929 is made of sand-blown glass. The medium of glass accompanied Josef Albers throughout his life and was the focus of his artistic oeuvre until his emigration to the USA. According to Albers, in glass staining, colour functions as direct light. Even in childhood, he was fascinated by the abundance of light in stained glass church windows. Becher is the only remaining work with coloured overlay glass in the sand-blown technique, as Albers otherwise used only black, white and grey glass in the period from 1929 to 1931. Since the 1930s, it has been exhibited in many significant museums around the world, including in London (Tate Modern) and New York (Guggenheim and later in the Whitney Museum). In the late 1950s, Albers gifted ‘Becher’ to his friend Eugen Gomringer. The New York trade persevered to win the piece for € 365,000 (lot 39, € 300/400,000).
Gotthard Graubner has been developing and perfecting his genre of ‘Farbraumkörper’ (colour-space body) since 1977. In repeated work processes, he saturates the untreated carriers of canvas, fibrefill and textile covers with paint that seep into the cushion-like substance. Highly individual colour imprints thus develop virtually autonomously– that which initially appears monochrome, reveals an abundance of shades of colour upon closer inspection. The 130 x 100 cm colour-space body from 1973/1974 offered here shimmers in fine shades of grey, and now goes to the German trade for € 176,000 (lot 28, € 100/150,000). A further cushion picture was won by the same bidder for € 88,000 (lot 23, € 70/90,000).
On Kawara’s ‘I Got Up’ from 1978, made up of 66 New York postcards, was highly sought-after and was forced up by the French trade to € 189,000 (lot 81, € 70/90,000). The US trade were also present and had to deliver a bid of € 164,000 against persistent competition for Andy Warhol’s 1967 colour silkscreen ‘Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn)’ (lot 56, € 60/80,000). A further colour silkscreen by Warhol, ‘Mammy’, this time with diamond dust on a yellow-orange ground from the year 1981, is a unique piece from a series of 30 different colour variations; this rose up to € 113,500 (lot 54, € 60/80,000).
With a bid of € 139,000, the French trade won Günther Förg’s impressive, large-format painting from 2002, from the work group of window pictures originating in 1985. In the course of his comprehensive, genre-spanning study of modern architecture, Förg often uses architectural elements of graphic character – grids, stairs or windows – in his paintings and drawings (lot 42, € 80/100,000). The same bidder also purchased a further canvas by the artist for € 101,000 (lot 41, € 80/100,000). Gerhard Richter’s 1989 over-raked offset print ‘Kerze II’ was acquired by a German bidder for € 126,000 (lot 18, € 80/100,000).