The Modern and Contemporary Art auctions were very successful with a high total sales quota of 9.5 million euro.
For Modern Art, a very impressive painting by Otto Ritschl performed a great jump from € 30/40,000 up to € 119,000. A further highlight of this two-day auction was Emil Nolde’s dramatic watercolour “Tosendes Meer” for € 275,000 and a delicate flower watercolour which brought € 225,000, whilst a painting by Alexej Jawlensky reached € 125,000.
A figure composition by Leonor Fini sold for € 138,000 and a landscape painting by Mela Muter for € 100,000. A view of Montmartre by Maurice Utrillo changed hands for € 94,000 and a watercoloured ink drawing by Alfred Kubin for € 91,000.
A small collection with seven works by T. Lux Feininger brought a total of € 101,000.
The chromatic and formal force of Emil Nolde's watercolour “Tosendes Meer” is reminiscent of the high artistic status that seascapes possessed within his oeuvre. The pictures were created - painted in exhilaration, as if in ecstasy - sometimes in succession in large painted series, particularly in 1930, during his stay on Sylt. The impressive sheet, from the estate of his second wife Jolanthe Nolde, was pushed by the intense bidding from € 100/130,000 up to €275,000, eventually won by a South German collector (lot 168).
A further characteristic, decorative Nolde watercolour with tulips and amaryllis was hotly sought after, pursued by a Swiss collector up to € 225,000 (lot 169, € 90/120,000).
A classic painting from 1918, “Variationen: Purpurgold (Herbst)” by Alexej von Jawlensky, with many literary references and displayed in a number of exhibitions, was once owned by Galka Scheyer in Hollywood. It now moves to a Rhenish collection for € 125,000 (lot 207, €120,000).
The large-format canvas “Les Adelphes” from 1968 by Leonor Fini changed ownership for € 138,000 to a German collection (lot 116, €80/100,000), whilst Maurice Utrillo’s painting “Moulin de la Galette à Montmartre” from 1936 made €94,000 and will now feature in a Rhenish private collection (lot 196, € 80/130,000). Mela Muter’s 1923 canvas “Stadt in der Provence” was purchased by a Polish collector for € 100,000 (lot 204, € 80/100,000).
“Explosion”, a canvas painted by Xanti Schawinsky in 1926, the best Bauhaus period, rose to € 81,000. Significantly above the estimate, it was bought by a North German collector. In the mid-1920s, Schawinsky joined Oskar Schlemmer's theatre class at the Bauhaus in Weimar; his first piece, “Circus”, was presented in 1925. In the year our picture was painted, 1926, he created related works featuring abstract and boldly colourful architectural forms. Schawinsky was an established and active part of the “Bauhaus Group” and friends with Walter Gropius, Herbert Bayer and Josef Albers. The display of “Explosion” in the important exhibition “50 Jahre Bauhaus” in Stuttgart in 1968 is testimony to the painting’s significance (lot 100, 35/45,000).
The glass window “Lesende” by Adolf Hölzel from 1926 was secured by a German museum for € 90,000 (lot 19, € 40/60,000), whilst a South German collector had to bid € 91,000 for “Aschermittwoch”, a 1922 watercoloured ink drawing by Alfred Kubin (lot 118, € 50/70,000). The drafts “Design for Mural “SS Constitution” and verso “Segelschiffe und Kreuzer” by Lyonel Feininger from 1949 went to a further North German collection for € 81,000 (lot 166, € 50/60,000). With a result of € 85,000, “Nature morte”, a canvas by Jean Léon Fautrier painted in 1929/30 was pushed considerably over the estimate by the West German trade (lot 171, € 30/50,000).
Outstanding prices were achieved by the Picasso ceramics which were completely sold at double to triple the estimate.
Franz Wilhelm Seiwert’s painting “Drei Arbeiterköpfe“ from 1924/25 has been sold under reserve for € 102,000; at present, very promising negotiations are still being conducted (lot 200).